Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "Savarkar And His Times (1950)"

See other formats


SAv .,,.|.||.,|||i ^ 

lllllllH®^^ STSTT^'t 

b°snaa Shastri Academy iK 

of Administration 



ar^rfccT #^3^1 f ^ 

Accession No ^ 

;LT 32<<204| 

Book No ^ 






All rights reserved by the Author. 

First published VJ50 

^ Bamb^dekar, at the India Printing Works, 

Lan^ Fori, Bombay, and published by A. V. Keer 
77 Bhageshwar Bhuvan, Lady Hardinge Road, Bombay 28! 




Swatantryaveer Savarkar needs no introduction to the 
Indian public, neither does his biography. Long ago, Mr. Asaf 
Ali described Savarkar as the spirit of Shivaji and the late 
Sri Srinivas Sastri said of him that “ he was a great and fear- 
less patriot and volumes could be written about his yeoman 
services in the cause of Indian Freedom.” This is, however, 
too small a volume to describe that spirit and those services 

Savarkar’s life has already appeared in almost all Indian 
languages, and in his twenties it has appeared in almost all 
European languages. But excepting the great Marathi bio- 
graphy by Sri S. L. Karandikar, who wrote it about seven 
years ago, no book has dealt exhaustively with the various 
facets of his life. Hence this is a humble attempt to give in 
detail the myriad sides of Savarkar’s life in its proper historic 
perspective. This book provides a fuller survey of Savarkar’s 
revolutionary, literary, political and social activities and 
movements. It also deals with his personal life, and covers 
his life upto the present moment. 

I have made a faithful attempt to present a true and correct 
picture of the various events and incidents that occurred in 
the life of Savarkar, and also the trends of thoughts and 
opinions entertained in those times. Most of them do not 
necessarily reflect my personal views. But they are narrated 
to record matters of mere history. To quote Sir Edmund 
Gosse, I have attempted ‘ to give a faithful portrait of a soul 
in its adventures through life \ 

Savarkar^s life is romantic, epic and volcanic and so it is 
full of flashes and flames. Bharat has just shed her revolu- 
tionary shell, and entered an evolutionary phase. And a 
revolutionary realist as he is, Savarkar now in Free India 
naturally insists on the adoption of peaceful, constitutional 
and democratic means by the people for attaining their 



objectives. This was only a logical corollary to Savarkar s ideal 
as proclaimed in his historic work on ‘ 1857 ^ 

My earnest appeal, therefore, to all lovers of Indian Free- 
dom and true democracy is that they should go through this 
book dispassionately and in a rationalistic manner and know 
exactly the real Savarkar. And if the book helps them know 
the real Savarkar, I shall feel glad that the object of writing 
this book is fulfilled. 

My debt of gratitude is gladly acknowledged to all those 
who read and scrutinised the manuscript and made valuable 
suggestions, and particularly to those who constantly 
encouraged me, but whose names I omit for obvious reasons. 

I also gratefully acknowledge my debt to the various authors, 
journals and publications from whom I have drawn excerpts. 
Lastly, my special thanks are due to Messrs. India Printing 
Works, for their prompt execution and exquisite printing of 
this work. 

Bombay, May 10, 1950. 

D. K. 


Preface v 

I. Childhood and Youth 1 

II. The Rising Leader 15 

III. Revolutionary Activities in Europe 27 

IV. The Storm Breaks ..... 49 

V. Epic Escape and World-Famous Trials . 70 

VI. The Indian Bastille ..... 93 

VII. Genius Thrives in Jail .... 119 

VIII. Out op His Grave ..... 141 

IX. Social Revolution ..... 153 

X. Rationalist and Author .... 181 

XI. Back to Freedom ...... 193 

XII. Whirlwind Propaganda ..... 198 

XIII. Hindu Manifesto or Savarkarism . . . 223 

XIV. Differences with the Congress . . 251 

XV. Roosevelt, Churchill and Cripps 269 

XVI. Mahasabha Marches On .... 283 

XVII. The Writing on the Wall .... 303 

XVIII. Fight for Akhand Hindusthan . 322 

XIX. From Parity to Pakistan .... 342 

XX. The Red Fort Ordeal and After 368 

XXI. The Man 391 

Index 419 




Savarkar and his Comrades 

facing page 


India House in 1909 



The Savarkar Brothers . . . • 




Batch of Ratnagiri Hindu Sanghatanists . 



Madura Procession 




The Trio and the Generalissimo 




Savarkar with Subhas and Working Committee „ 



On the Occasion of the Cripps Mission 








A Mammoth Meeting .... 




Savarkar in Calcutta Procession in 1949 . 




Shraddhamata, Savarkar and Dr. Khare in 
Calcutta in 1949 .... 




Savarkar Family Group .... 





Childhood and Youth 


In politically fallen, socially degraded and financially ruined 
Hindusthan, the eighteen-eighties and nineties witnessed the 
darkest period in the history of our country. The first peep 
of the dawn in the form of the refonns of 1909 was still to 
come. The dawn of 1919 was beyond the horizon. The 
spiritual planets like Maharshi Ranade, Swami Dayananda 
Saraswati and Swami Vivekananda were kindling light of 
social regeneration and spiritual heritage. Dayananda, 
Dadabhai, Ranade and Vivekananda were rousing the people 
from their slumber ; Ram Singh Kuka and Wasudeo Balwant 
had disturbed their thoughts for a good while. Tilak was 
carrying discontent and unrest from towns to villages and 
cottages. Babu Anand Mohan Bose and Babu Surendranath 
Banerjee were infusing a spirit of new life in Bengal. Dreading 
the resurgent revolts for the overthrow of its power, the 
British mind was deeply engrossed in finding out a safety 
valve for the wrath of the Indian revolution. And not long 
before, the British top-ranking officers and politicians founded 
the Indian National Congress on December 28, 1885, despite 
the fears and opposition of Sir Syed Ahmed, who warned the 
Muslims to keep aloof from the Congress. 

Sprung from the neo-ideology of this institution, which was 
fathered by Englishmen and mothered by the Indian 
intelligentsia, the Moderates in the following decades placed 
mild, just and bare demands of the Indians before their god- 
sent and enlightened rulers and pleaded for them with all 
the force and prayerfulness of their master-minds. For, 
strangely enough, they sincerely believed that the victors 
would of themselves bless the vanquished with the much 
cherished reforms. 

The press was almost mu 2 u:led. The Arms Act was 
introduced, not, as it may be imagined, with a view to 


ddiveriHg Indians but to degenerating and emasculating them 
further. Bills and budgets were prepared, printed, published 
and enforced before they were even known or seen by 
Indians. The Ilbert Bill also fomented the growing ill-feeling. 
The First Indian Councils Act of 1861 was slightly widened 
in 1892. In short, it was a shameful and mournful period. 
The alternative was reform or revolution. 

Two events typified the new year 1883. Swami Dayananda 
Saraswati, a leader of renaissance, was at the end of his 
earthly pilgrimage, and Krantiveer Wasudeo Balwant, a man 
of great action, laid his bones in Aden longing for the establish- 
ment of an Indian Republic. In such a tense atmosphere sin:- 
charged with unfulfilled aspirations was bom Swatantrya 
Veer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar on Monday, the 28th May 
1883, at 10 p.m. at Bhagur, a village near Nasik. The aims 
and aspirations of the Swami and ICrantiveer were to be 
imified in a great idea, new voice and new nationalism. 
Seventy-five days before this birth, Karl Marx, the Prophet 
of the Proletariat, passed away unnoticed in a London comer 
and sixty-two days after this birth was born Benito Mussolini 
who later moulded the destiny of Italy. 

Savarkar springs from the illustrious clan of Chitpavan 
Brahmins that produced Nanasahib of 1857, Wasudeo Balwant 
and Lokamanya Tilak, all of whom strove to snatch the crown 
of Independence from the hands of the British. The Savarkars 
originally came from the Konkan, a land symbolising the 
great feat of reclamation performed by Parshxuram who is a 
mighty mythological figure. During the declining days of 
the Peshwa rule, the Savarkars were an important family 
which had moved in and seen great events. They were 
Jahgirdars of a small village, Rahiu'i, and enjoyed the honour 
of palanquin for their acknowledged eminence in Sanskrit 
scholarship. The blood, bones and brains of such ancestors 
carved out this epic figure of Indian Revolution, Vinayak 
Savarkar, who, like Mazzini, ushered in the revolutionary war 
of liberation in the annals of Hindusthan. And it is to be 
noted that, as, with the rise of Mazzini, the Austrian rule 
over Italy began to wane, so with the rise of De Valera and 
Savarkar the British Empire began to wither and vanish. 




A man of position and personality, Vinayak’s father, 
Damodarpant Savarkar, was well-built, studious, stem and 
self-respecting. In spite of his English education he loved 
and remembered his past. He was gifted with poetical talents 
and was a good conversationalist. What is more, he was an 
admirer of Tilak. Damodarpant’s firm and undemonstrative 
temperament did not stand any nonsense from his children. 
Vinayak’s mother, Radhabai, was a pious, lovely and bright 
lady known for the tenderness of her heart. Of these parents 
were born three sons and one daughter. The first was Ganesh, 
the second Vinayak, the hero of this biography, the third was 
a daughter named Mainabai and the fourth was Narayan. 

Damodarpant was a good-natured and religious-minded 
man. He recited the epics Mahahharata and Ramayana and 
read out to his sons Ballads and Bakhars on Pratap, Shivaji 
and the Peshwas. He was a warm admirer of Homer and 
had studied and read Pope’s translation of the Iliad to his 
sons. It was the practice of Savarkar’s mother to make her 
eldest son read chapters from the Mahahharata or the Rama- 
yana to her children before they retired to bed. Thus the 
Ballads, Bakhars, legends, heroic exploits, historical episodes 
and mythological stories powerfully contributed to the mental 
development of child Savarkar. 

Vinayak, the infant Jahgirdar, was sent to the village 
school at the age of six. Soon he showed signs of his remark- 
able inborn genius. Much of his inspiration he found in 
history and epics. His love of books and newspapers was so 
great that he read omnivorously, and any book or newspaper 
that he laid his hand upon, he read from cover to cover. His 
studies were intense, exciting and prolonged. His depth and 
intelligence and the immense interest he took in human affairs 
can be judged from one incident. While rea ding the history 
of the Arabs, he asked his father about the fiirst pages of their 
history. The first pages of the book w«re missing. Naturally 
the father repUed that they might have been tom off. What 
the boy, in fact, wanted to know was the antecedmts of the 
Arabs. The range and loftiness of this idea touched the 
infinite Universe. Savarkar depicted this idea in one of his 


latter-day poems and concluded that the first pages of all 
history are always unknown ! This is the curse on history, 
he added. 

Vinayak was hardly ten when well-known newspapers from 
Poona accepted his poems, not knowing that the contributions 
came from a precocious lad. His insatiable thirst for 
knowledge, his excellent memory and the pecuhar charm in 
his voice and gait impressed every one and raised high hopes 
of his future. Damodarpant saw something new and extra- 
ordinary in his son that startled him. He was terribly alarm- 
ed when one day he saw his son reading the Upmiishads in 
the house ; for, reading the Upanishads in a house, it is said, 
forebodes evil for the reader’s worldly life. They are to be 
read and studied in the woods ! 

Witty, bold and handsome, Vinayak was also full of pranks. 
He once broke the bangles of his sister, and was shielded by 
his elder brother in the safe from the wrath of his father. In 
his boyhood he learnt archery and riding. To the horror of 
his companions he once caught a serpent with a piece of wire 
in his hand. 

A man is seen at his best in his childhood. Milton says 
that childhood shows the man, as the morning shows the day. 
Here is an index to the life-book of Savarkar. In June 1893, 
serious riots broke between Hindus and Muslims in the 
Azamgarh District of the United Provinces and in August of 
the same year in Bombay. The news of the atrocities then 
perpetrated on the Hindus in the United Provinces and 
Bombay fired his blood and he resolved to avenge the woes 
and deaths of his co-religionists. The boy Savarkar led a batch 
of selected school-mates in a march upon the village mosque. 
The battalion of these boys showered stones upon it, shattered 
its windows and tiles and returned victorious. This incident 
gives the first hint of the heroic mettle Vinayak was made of 
and the key to his future daring life and leadership. The 
victory, however, was not allowed to go unchallenged. The 
Muslim school-boys gave battle to Vinayak, the Hindu 
Generalissimo. Although the number of his soldiers decreased 
at the time of joining the battle, Vinayak routed the enemy 
with missiles like pins, penknives and thorns with which he 
had equipped his army. The battle had its lesson. The boy 


leader fell to training and organising his group. For the 
military training the group was divided into two detachments 
— one Hindu and the other a British or a Muslim — ^to defend 
a field or a compound. Always the Hindus won and the 
Muslims or the British lost in the mock fights and warfare. 

Vinayak completed his Primary Education at the village 
school, and moved to Nasik with his elder brother for high- 
school education. In the meanwhile, misfortune overtook 
the family. Radhabai, Vinayak’s mother, died of cholera, 
leaving the children to the care of her husband. At the time 
of this fir-st calamity Vinayak was hardly ten. He was 
passionately devoted to his mother, and so he felt the loss 
terribly. Henceforward his father worked from dawn to dead 
of night, personally discharging the household duties and 
tending the .small ones affectionately. 

In every life there are certain momentous incidents that 
decide the fate or change the mode of one’s life. A frustrated 
and penniless mutineer from Piedmont asked alms of Mazzini 
in the name of the outlaws of Italy. That was the moment of 
Mazzini’s conversion and dedication to the struggle for his 
country’s Independence. Such an occasion occurred in boy 
Savarkar’s life, too. It made an indelible impression on his 
mind. Those were the times full of horrid tales. People of 
Maharashtra stood between famine and death, plague and 
soldiers, the devil and the deep sea, as it were. The harass- 
ment caused by the rigid segregation camps during the plague 
epidemic, the strict quarantines, the dreadful plague hospitals, 
the reckless burning of properties and the outrages on women 
reached a climax. The patience of the people was wearing 
out. Tilak warned Lord Sandhurst’s Government that they 
should not drive the people to desperation. 

These countless miseries of the famine and plague-stricken 
masses and the excesses committed by the soldiers infuriated 
the Chaphekar brothers of Poona, and they shot dead the 
Plague Commissioner, Mr. Rand, the bullying incompetent 
tyrant and one Mr. Ay erst on June 22, 1897, in Poona, the 
traditional cradle of the liberators of Hindusthan. That was 
the ‘ auspicious ’ day of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen 
Victoria’s rule. The day was to be celebrated despite the 
grinding famine and raging plague. And the celebration was 


perfonned in Poona in such a way that the whole country 
became ablaze with the performance which electrified the 
Indian people. Once again Poona proved the historical law that 
repression, injustice and racial humiliation give rise to violent 
reaction that recoils on the head of the aggressor. As a result 
of this assassination, though outwardly on a charge of 
publishing seditious articles, Tilak was thrown behind the 
bars. Betrayed by the Dravid brothers, Damodarpant 
Chaphekar was arrested, tried and sentenced to death. He 
embraced gallows with the Giia in his hands on April 18 , 1898 . 

But in a slave country struggling for freedom such abnormal 
times have a knack of feeling the pulse of a nation and of 
showing up simpletons and sycophants and separating traitors 
from patriots. Amd nine out of ten informants in such a 
country rarely go impunished. Consequently one night with 
the stroke of the city gun at nine, went out two bullets and 
the Dravid brothers of Poona, the informants in the 
Chaphekar trial, were shot dead in the street by the junior 
Chaphekar, Vasudeo and his friend Ranade, nephew of the 
historian Rajwade. This brave youth Chaphekar, liis another 
brother, Balkrishna, and Ranade were also hanged in May 
1899. The end of the Chaphekar brothers marks a turning 
point in the history of freedom movement of India ; for they 
proved to be the harbingers of the coming revolutionary 
movement in India. 

In the meanwhile, Vinayak had an attack of small-pox at 
Nasik and he was back to Bhagiur. There the horrible news 
about Chaphekars’ heroic end fell upon Vinayak’s ears. It 
drove the boy Savarkar to a grim resolve. He approached the 
family Deity, Durga, the Ashtapraharana Dharini, in the 
sanctuary and invoked the blessings of the Great Mother, the 
source of divine inspiration and strength. Sitting at the feet 
of the armed Goddess Durga at dead of night, he took a vow 
of striving nobly and sacrificing his nearest and dearest, his 
life and all, to fulfil the incomplete mission of the martyred 
Chaphekars. He vowed to drive out the Britishers from his 
beloved Motherland and to make her free and great once 
again. It was the glorious vow of Shivaji. Shivaji the Great 
took his vow of liberating his country from foreign domina- 
tion at the age of sixteen in the temple of Rohideshwar. Tilak 


took to political agitation at about five-and-twenty after 
finishing his college education. Mazzini entered politics at 
the age of seventeen, and De Valera, who was born a year 
before Savarkar, at thirty, but Savarkar entered politics and 
took the vow of liberating his Motherland when he was hardly 
sixteen. So sincere, inspired and spontaneous was the love 
for his coiuitry burning in his heart ! 

To stir up his comrades and people Savarkar composed one 
night a ballad over the martyred Chaphekars. His face 
glowed. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he pored over his 
lines. Hearing the sobs, his father woke up and found his 
son sitting far into the night by the lamp. He read the lines 
of the ballad and clouds shadowed his face. The father scented 
a new danger and tried to dissuade his son from those daring 
thoughts of martyrdom at so early an age. He gently patted 
Vinayak on his back and advised him to take to some light 
songs. The father at once understood what those dripping 
lines, their spirit and their flash would mean to their author 
and his family. 

At Nasik Vinayak’s academic career was not extraordinary. 
However, the depth of his knowledge and the fire of his 
eloquence had been spread far and wide by his teachers. 
While a junior high-school student, his article on ‘ The Glory 
of Hindusthan’ appeared in two parts as an editorial in the 
local paper, Nasik Vaihhav. With the great flow of his words, 
breadth of his knowledge and boldness of his views, he easily 
towered above all in the elocution competitions. Astounded 
at the range of his knowledge and power of his speech, the 
judges at first doubted the originality of his views, but 
subsequently were glad to own their mistakes. Vinayak’s 
poems of welcome to Maharshi Ranade and Tilak and the 
several ballads he composed during these years for the village 
chorus also won him reputation. 

In 1899 Vinayak’s father and imcle succumbed to plague. 
Vinayak’s younger brother Narayan was also attacked by 
plague. He was removed first to a dilapidated temple on the 
outskirts of Bhagur and then to the NasUc Plague Hospital 
where Ganeshpant, alias Babarao, looked after him even at 
the risk of his own life. Fear lurked in Vinayak’s mind that 
Babarao might also catch the infection. And one day it did 


SO happen. Vinayak was terribly shocked. Boy as he was, 
he burst into tears in a comer, but he did not give out a word 
of it to Babarao’s young wife. The stuff of his courage was 
that of a man who stamps his mind upon history. Death was 
on the prowl in Nasik which had become the city of the dead. 
In this haunted and deserted city Vinayak passed his days 
and nights with heart-throbs fearing to hear bad news about 
his brothers who were writhing with deadly pain in the 
hospital. At last the danger was over. Both the brothers 
recovered and returned, and were once more united in a 
happy home. 


Stars shine out at night. Although Vinayak’s mind was 
filled with these great anxieties, his vow would not let him 
sit alone. He was I'estless. He had a purpose in life and it 
was the liberation of his Motherland from the foreign yoke. 
He mused on it by day, dreamt about it by night, and he was 
waiting for an opportunity to throw himself into his life’.s 
mission with all the strength of his mind and muscle. 
Shakespeare has described such a poAverful mind in these 
beautiful lines : 

“ The force of his own merit makes his way, 

A gift that heaven gives for him.” 

With that end in view Vinayak made friends with Mhaskar 
and Page, new friends of Babarao, at Nasik. Simple, hard- 
working, credulous, Babarao was as great an obliging man 
as he was a propagandist. Babarao’s selfless service won the 
goodwill and affection of many persons and families. Among 
the new additions were Mhaskar and Page. Sober and 
sincere, they were both patriotic workers in the background 
as are most men in Government service. In action they were 
TUakites and in thought they were drawn to the revolutionary 
ideas of Shivrampant Paranjpe. The political views of 
Paranjpe were the burning thoughts of the boy Savarkar. 
Paranjpe and Savarkar were politically parallel, but socially 
poles apart. Both were orators. The elder orator was a 
master of satire, the younger w'as a live volcano. While 


Paranjpe was the dream of revolution, Savarkar was its 
living reality. 

After img debates and varied discussions Vinayak won 
Paranjpe’s followers over to his side, administered to them 
the vow, and formed a Patriots’ Group of three members. 
This Group, established in 1899, soon assumed the shape of a 
Friends’ Union called ‘ Mitra Mela ’ at the beginning of 1900. 
Chosen youths of merit and mettle were secretly initiated into 
this fold. This was the famous ‘ Beehive in the words of 
Sir Valentine Chirol, of revolutionaries in Western India ! 
The Mitra Mela sprouted into the world-famous Abhinava 
Bharat in 1904, its network was spread over Western and 
Central India and subsequently its branches in the form of 
the Ghadr Party resounded in England, France, Germany, 
America, Hong-Kong, Singapore and Burma with their heroic 
deeds and risings like the Komagata Maru episode. The aim 
and ideal of the Mitra Mela was absolute political Indepen- 
dence of India, and it emphatically asserted that such an 
independence could be won, if need be, by an armed revolt. 
Its watchward was instruction and insurrection. 

The organisation started. By diffusing knowledge, dispel- 
ling doubts and ignorance of the members and inspiring them 
with the noble aim, its young leader Vinayak Savarkar vita- 
lised the gilded youths and the intellectual vagabonds, and 
brought the best out of them. He gave them aim, form, 
means and ways. Those innocent and reckless youths were 
converted into a batch of patriots and a galaxy of martsn-s 
who afterwards made history. 

The new patriotic and political atmosphere transformed the 
city into a living force of a political volcano. The Mitra Mela 
dominated all public and political institutions of Nasik, 
changed religious fimctions and festivals into political and 
national celebrations. These activities of the Mitra Mela gave 
sleepless nights to the District authorities. The Mitra Mela 
re-sanctified and revitalised the life of Nasik which had grown 
stale, insipid and hapless. 

Nasik has played a very important role in India’s ancient 
and modem history. This southern Kashi stands on the bank 
of the Godavari and is the place where Sri Ramchandra 
passed his voluntary exile resulting from his eternal devotion 


to his father. It was from Nasik that Sri Ramchandra started 
on his great march to annihilate the tyranny of Ravan. It 
was here that Ramchandra and Laxman cut the Nasika — 
nose — of the demoness Shiupanakha. Strange to say, 
Savarkar started his war of Independence for the liberation 
of his people in Nasik, cut off the nose of the British 
Imperialism and was later on exiled for his deathless devotion 
to his Fatherland, changing Nasik into the new Jerusalem of 
Revolutionary India. 

During the weekly meetings of the Mitra Mela sometimes 
there were hot and lively discussions. On the eve of the 
accession of King Edward VII in 1901, a debate was held 
to consider whether they should hold a condolence meeting 
for the death of Queen Victoria and to declare allegiance to 
King Edward or not. Mhaskar and Page were in favour of 
declaring allegiance in order to allay the suspicions of the 
Government. There was a battle royal. Savarkar asked : 
“ King or Queen, the question is whose king is he. England’s 
Queen or King is the Queen or King of our enemies. To 
declare allegiance to such a King or Queen is not allegiance. 
It will be the Bible of slavery ! ” Ultimately it was decided 
to oppose both the moves. While Vinayak was at Kothur, 
a speaker at one meeting extolled King Edward VTI as ‘ our 
father ’. Within an hour of this meeting posters appeared in 
the village from novrhere and bitingly queried : “ Then what 
relation does your father beeir to your mother ? ” 

Vinayak’s charming personality, his voracious reading, his 
trenchant views and inspiring thoughts electrified his col- 
leagues. They devotedly took to heart the teachings and 
preachings of the leader. The precepts were thenceforth no 
more abstract ideas. They were an everyday guidance and 
moving force in the daily life of Nasik. Vinayak created in 
his followers a liking for reading, debating and physical train- 
ing to make worthy and noble sacrifices, if need should arise. 
He himself took physical exercise — Namaskars — ^till the pers- 
piration from his body left his mark on the ground. In later 
life, however, he opined that moderate exercise consolidates 
and strengthens the body. 

Members of the Mitra Mela served the city in many 
useful ways. They chastised the tyrannical elements and 


brow-beat the bully. Those were the days occasionally smitten 
with terrible plague that reduced families to ashes, and razed 
houses to the ground. It was a dreadful sight. The cries of 
the dying men, women and children, the groans of the afSicted 
and the wailings of their relations were too shocking for these 
budding youths. There was paucity of men to carry the 
corpses to the cremation ground. This band of youths carried 
the dead all day long. Vinayak also shared the toilsome task. 
One night thoroughly fagged out, young Vinayak fell asleep 
in the cemetery unnoticed and was left behind. 

Anolher prominent cast of Vinayak Savarkar’s leadership 
was that he knew no caste distinctions. To him all Hindus 
were equal. Those of his countrymen who were prepared to 
sacrifice their lives on the altar of freedom were his comrades. 
He shared his food with Maratha families and broke his bread 
under their roof. His attractive figure and engaging manners 
inspired respect and individual devotion in his circle. He 
was popular but by nature reserved and rather shy. He was 
amongst them but not of them and so he sometimes retired 
secretly to some sequestered corner to hold, as he put it, “ the 
Parliament of his mind ” ! His dress consisted of a dhoti, a 
coat, a jacket and a cap with a line of embroidery in the 

The heart of Vinayak’s poems and patriotism in those days 
was the resurrection and liberation of Hindusthan. In one of 
his poems composed at this stage of his life he says : “ O 
Aryan brothers, arise.” Elsewhere he says : “ For the uplift 
of Aryan Race and Aryan Land, better to keep it in one unit 
grand.” At another place he observes : “ Follow the laws of 
Nature. Little drops of water make the pond. Organise all 
Hindus and unify them.” These lines are the best interpreters 
of his thoughts as the words ‘ Arya ’ or ‘ Hindu ’ and ‘ One 
Unit ’ are the rallying-points of his ideology. 

The influence the Mitra Mela exercised upon the poetry and 
politics of Maharashtra was of great magnitude. With a little 
hyperbole it may be said that the Mitra Mela was a Univer- 
sity. Its songs of freedom and its tales of the lives of the 
makers of world history inspired the students with a great 
vision, and infused vitality in their bones. Choirs were formed. 
They fed and fanned the flames of the passions of the people 


with revolutionary ideas. It was a group of these singers 
from Nasik that sang a ballad later on at the historic Fort 
Raigad in the presence of Tilak, making the Father of Indian 
Unrest quite restless. 

Poets, speakers, propagandists, patriots and martyrs were 
produced by the Mitra Mela in scores. Out of such lumi- 
naries came the poet Govind Trimbak Darekar of Maha- 
rashtra. A Maratha by caste, his popular name was Aba. 
He was lame. The young poet was richly gifted, but was 
unlettered and therefore unacquainted with the rules of com- 
position. Savarkar tutored him and Aba Darekar became 
Poet Govind, the famous revolutionary poet of Maharashtra. 
If Savarkar ’s Ganges and Govind ’s Godavari were taken away 
from the sea of Maharashtrian Poetry, what Marathi Poetry 
would remain on Patriotism and Martyrdom ? 

It is remarkable to note that though mostly engaged in the 
propagation of his ideals, Savarkar never had a failure in 
his school career. As a rule his colleagues and he were very 
particular about their success in examinations. Nor were 
they ever a whit behind their class. But to Savarkar life 
being an oblation, he, like Tilak, cai'ed more for the service 
of his Motherland than for academic distinctions. Yet his 
preparations were extraordinary. The prodigy that he was, 
his head was a storehouse of world history, an encyclopaedia 
of political and social revolutions and revolutionary figures. 
Few professors, even at fifty, could rival the sweep, breadth 
and depth of his vast knowledge. He had mastered the poets 
Ramdas, Moropant and Mukteshwar and proficiently com- 
pared and contrasted them in literary circles. One of the 
articles entitled, ‘ Who was the Greatest Peshwa ’, written for 
a competition carried away the prize. It may be mentioned 
here that this was recently prescribed by the Bombay Univer- 
sity for the Matriculation Examination. Savarkar has brought 
out in this article the brilliance and great leadership of the 
Peshwa Madhavrao I. Thus, before entering the Fergusson 
College, Poona, young Savarkar was a first rate debater, a 
powerful orator, a rising writer and a leader of a revolu- 
tionary organisation which was creeping over all villages and 
towns in the District. 


A few months before Savarkar’s Matriculation Examina- 
tion, there occurred an important event in his life. Savarkar 
was married to the eldest daughter of Sri Trimbak Ram- 
chandra Chiplunkar alias Bhaurao, who knew Savarkar from 
childhood. Noble and kind-hearted, Bhaurao was a tall and 
attractive figure. He loved riding and hunting. Being a 
Karhhari in the Jawahar State lie wielded much influence 
in the State. The most important pail the marriage played 
in Savarkar’s life was fhat it solved the problem of his 
University education which had absorbed the attention of 
Babarao Savarkar for the previous five or six months. For 
Babarao was to Vinayak, what Baliram was to Krishna or 
Chimaji to Bajirao I. 

After the premature death of their mother and untimely 
death of their father, the burden of the family fell upon 
Babarao’s shoulders. He had to struggle valiantly to keep 
the wolf from the door and to drive the household chariot 
along the right path of revolution. That showed his mettle 
and unbounded attachment to his brothers for whom he 
sacrificed his personal ambition. To tell the truth, Babarao 
would have been a great yogin had he not subordinated his 
future to that of his younger brother. Even as a boy, Babarao 
believed fervently that his younger brother was born with a 
mission for liberating his Motherland, that his uncommon 
genius and his great faith would bring about a political revo- 
lution in Hindusthan and that he would win back her lost 
freedom. This belief revolutionised his whole being. The 
family was in straightened circumstances and disturbed con- 
ditions owing to a theft committed in their house. Still 
Babarao vowed before his ailing and anxious “ Tatya ” that, 
come what might, he would send him to the University. On 
his part Vinayak passed the Public Service Examination and 
was ready to enter Government service, if need arose. But 
Sri Bhaurao Chiplunkar promised help, fulfilled the promise 
and relieved Babarao of his anxiety. Savarkar’s regard for 
his generous father-in-law approached reverence. Years 
after, through the airhole of the dark cell in the Andamans, 
he sighed his grateful tributes to Bhaurao Chiplunkar in these 


words : " If there be any man or any family next to dear 
Baba to whom I owe all that is best in me and owing to whose 
noble patronage and winning solicitude I had imusual chances 
and facilities of assimilating the noblest things of this world 
and even of doing something for our common Motherland, 
then that man and that family is theirs (Chiplunkars’) •” 


The Rising Leader 


Savarkar passed his Mati’iculation Examinatiou in Decem- 
ber 1901, and left Nasik for Poona in January 1902. What 
was the state of Poona ? Exactly a year before Poona had 
lost Mahadeo Govind Ranade, India’s foremost torchbearer 
of learning and light. Ranade was a great social reformer, 
a towering scholar, an ardent patriot, a renowned thinker, 
an eminent economist and an exemplary judge. He was the 
foremost torchbearer of a new age, and wished to build a 
social structure conforming to the demands of fresh ideas. 
Though not strictly a Congressman his word was law in every 
annual session of the Indian National Congress of his day. 
His political ideal for India was, in his own words : “ A 
federated India distributed according to nationahties and 
subjected to a common bond of connection with the Imperial 
Power of the Queen-Empress of India.” * Sri R. P. Paranjpe 
had just returned from England with a dazzling success in his 
academic career. Gokhale was about to leave the Fergusson 
College and enter upon a political career. Tilak was becom- 
ing a formidable leader. Shivrampant Paranjpe was a domi- 
nating figure with his magic pen and marvellous oratory. 

As to the political state of India, the Congress was the 
spokesman. From its inception upto 1906 the Moderates 
dominated the Congress. Its stalwarts, from Surendranath 
Banerjee to Pherozeshah Mehta and Gokhale, believed with 
Ranade in the inscrutable “ dispensation of Almighty God for 
the unification of our peoples and the permanence of British 
Rule in India.” * 

Savarkar joined the Fergusson College, Poona, in January 
1902. Poona was then the living heart, and the Fergusson 
College, the Harrow of Maharashtra, in traditions and in 
producing historic personalities. As soon as Savarkar was in 

1 Ganesh & Co., Publishers, Madras, The Indian Nation Builders, p. 8. 

ajbid., p. 74. 


the College, he directed his attention to sowing the seeds of 
revolutionary doctrines in the fountain-head of Maharashtra. 
On the eve of his departure for Poona in a send-off at Nasik 
he had expressed the hope that at Poona he would inspire the 
pick of Maharashtrian youth with revolutionary thoughts and 
spread the revolutionary tenets through them over all the 
Districts of Maharashtra. 

A youth of power and purpose, Savarkar could easily make 
his mark in the college. His fellow-students could not but feel 
the impact of his striking personality. His qualities of head 
and heart were great. He had entered Poona with a .stock of 
reading, a gift for waiting, and a genius for oratoi-y such as 
few students of this century possess. He was much advanced 
in classical, historical and political literature. Even the profes- 
sors who turned up their noses at his extreme political vie\vs 
could not help praising him. As a member of the college 
residency it was convenient for him to gauge his fellow- 
students and gain their confidence. Soon a Savarkar group 
was formed. This band of purposeful youths captured almost 
all departments of the college institutions from the Dining 
Club to the Library. It was a patriots’ group, studious, 
thoughtful, sober, aspiring and yet greatly obliging. 

The group started a hand-written weekly named the Aryan 
Weekly, in which Savarkar often VTote illuminating articles 
on patriotism, literature, history and science with ease and 
elegance. Some of the thought-provoking articles from this 
weekly found their way even into local weeklies and news- 
papers of Poona. One of those brilliant articles of Savarkar was 
“ Saptapadi ” in which he had dealt with the seven stages of 
evolution that have to be gone through by a subject nation. 
He had studied all the dramas of Kalidas and Bhavabhuti and 
in one essay he brilliantly compared and contrasted Kalida.s 
with Bhavabhuti with remarkable originality. His professor 
highly praised him for this illuminating essay. Of the English 
poets, Scott, Shakespeare and Milton influenced him much. 
Milton’s Paradise Lost almost fascinated him. He had learnt 
by heart some of its cantos. Later on, he used blank verse 
metre for a part of his epic poetry. His essay on the Ramayana 
and the Iliad similarly evoked appreciative remarks for his 
erudition from Prof. Patwardhan. 


Savarkar often gave scholarly talks on the history of the 
world, the revolutions in Italy, Netherlands, America and 
gave his colleagues an idea of the stress and struggle those 
countries had to undergo for winning back their lost freedom. 
The young Demosthenes in Savarkar had captivated students 
and professors. On important occasions and at the main func- 
tions in the college all flocked to hear his stirring speeches. 
One day he delivered a lecture on the history of Italy under 
the chairmanship of Principal Raj wade. He was mightily 
pleased with Savarkar s range of knowledge and his oratorical 
gifts although he disliked Savarkar’s reference to modern 
politics. In an article the late Sri Gopal Govind Mujumdar, 
alias ‘Poet Sadhudas’, has very well described Savarkar’s 
hold on the college environments. In 1903, at the opening of 
the new session of the college a meeting was held in the 
college hall. Prof. Bhanu w£is in the chair. After the 
introductory speech of Prof. Bhate, Savarkar in his black 
coat and black cap rose amidst a deafening applause. He 
reminded his audience of the glorious past and his speech 
bewailed the loss of freedom. A wave of emotion swept over 
the audience. His speech infused courage into the craven- 
hearted and fired them all with the spirit of patriotism moving 
every one to tears. Then the chairman rose and with a grave 
face threw a wet blanket over the excited feelings. He said : 
“ Yoimg men, you need not take Savarkar seriously ! He is 
a Devil ! ” In those days a fearless, patriotic and brilliant 
youth of independent nature was described in this manner. 
In his college days Tilak, too, was known as a Devil ^ and the 
Blunt ! Poor Prof. Bhanu ! His bookish knowledge could 
not distinguish a deliverer from a devil. 

The Savarkar Group dressed alike, used swadeshi, took an 
evening stroll together, and carried discussions in old temples 
and in the hearts of hills about their problems and plans. At the 
same time the group never failed to attend to the prescribed 
course of studies. They took care of their moral, physical and 
intellectual developments. Out of the armoury of this group 
sprang a host of literary and political figures who served the 
cause of Indian freedom. They believed in energy and 
endurance and not in enjoyment. Their ideal of life was not 
J A. W. Marathe, Lokamanya Tilak (Marathi), p. 12. 



cricket Their goal was survival of the fittest ! Yet Savarkar 
was not without his lighter moments and at times enjoyed 
them fully. He played an important part in a Shakespearian 
play staged by the Fergussonians. 

In the public activities of Poona also Savarkar took a 
prominent part. His relations with Shivrampant Paranjpe, 
the most popular orator and brilliant editor of the Kal, were 
of a very cordial nature. While a high school student he was 
occasionally in correspondence with Paranjpe. Once student 
Savarkar had expressed his desire for being given a job of a 
sub-editor, or even that of a compositor in the office of the 
Kal just to enable him to have university education. But the 
proposal, it seems, was dropped partly for want of an 
encouraging reply or owing to the promised help by Savar- 
kar's father-in-law. Savarkar first saw Paranjpe in Poona in 
1902. Paranjpe’s revolutionary ideas were neai'er to the aim 
of Savarkar. Although the mould of their fervid patriotism 
was the same, it stemmed from different souls. Savarkar’s 
thoughts were deep-rooted, unbending and powerful and had 
a broader base and a wider range than those of Paranjpe. 

On important occasions young Savarkar saw Tilak whose 
association with the revolutionaries was a legend. Tilak 's 
superb insight had sensed the stuff of which Savarkar was 
made. Savarkar, by this time, was an acknowledged leader 
of youths. 


A change in the political tone was coming on with the 
growing tension. A new spirit of self-reliance began to gain 
ground. Tilak was turning the eyes of India from the British 
public to the Indian masses for her own salvation. Stimulated 
by these feelings Lala Lajpat Rai appealed to Indians to 
become arbiters of their own destiny. Inspired by the epoch- 
making victory of Asiatic Japan over European Russia, 
Surendranath Banerjee encouraged the people with these 
words : “ The sun has risen in the East. Japan has saluted 
the rising sun. That sun, in its meridian splendovtr, will pass 
through our country.” ^ Gokhale characterised the partition 

^ Ganesh & Co., Publishers, The Indian Nation Builders, p. 93. 


of Bengal as a cruel wrong inflicted upon our Bengali 
brethren. The love of country and the feeling of united India 
was rising. Simultaneously, the Swadeshi movement was also 
gaining ground. 

The opposition to the partition of Bengal was coming to a 
head by October 1905. The partition of Bengal awakened the 
dormant forces of nationalism and the sleeping embers of 
communalism. As it was a move to counter the politically 
dominant Hindus by a creation of an Eastern Bengal, Hindus 
opposed and Muslims supported it ! Strangely enough, the 
fate of Bengal has indeed not been a covetable one throughout 
the last two centuries. Bengal was the stronghold of the 
Mogul Empire. Bengal was the keystone of the arch of the 
British Empire. Bengal has been the grazing ground for con- 
versions and communal riots. Bengal has recently been the 
foxmdation of a Muslim Sovereign State ! 

By now Savarkar had developed into a prominent figure in 
the political and social gatherings and meetings of Poona and 
had won the heai’ts of the public of Poona. Acharya Kaka 
Kalelkar ^ tells us that Savarkar’s stirring eloquence was a 
great attraction to the public of Poona in those days. Savarkar 
and his group were ardent promoters of Swadeshi and staimch 
opponents of the pai'tition scheme. Tilak had made the par- 
tition of Bengal an all-India issue. Savarkar resolved to unfurl 
the banner of boycott of foreign goods ; for boycott and 
Swadeshi were the obverse and the reverse of one and the 
same coin ! Representing the student at one meeting he, 
therefore, suggested that they should make a bonfire of 
foreign clothes. Sri N. C. Kelkar was in the chair. Shivram- 
pant Paranjpe who was also present at the meeting supported 
Savarkar. Savarkar also saw Tilak who was out of Poona 
on the day of the meeting. Tilak, too, agreed, but on one con- 
dition. He insisted that at least the heap of clothes should be 
a huge one. Savarkar readily took the task upon himself. 
With his moving oratory he provoked the people to the deed 
and with a cartful of clothes the procession started wending 
its way along the Reay Market and proceeded to the open 
fldid across the Lakdi Pool. Tilak joined it at the termination. 
At the conclusion of the procession Tilak opined that the 
1 Kaka Kalelkar, The Pratihha, dated 15-1-1936. 


dothes should be burnt there and speeches should be made 
somewhere else. But Savarkar reasoned, “Then why this 
procession ? We could have sent clothes here and made 
speeches at the Reay Market. In fact, glowing speeches should 
be delivered before the burning heap ! That will have a deep 
impression on the minds of the people,” he argued. Tilak 
cared m^re for youthful vigour and so he agreed. The 
meeting then commenced around the glowing heap. Tilak 
thimdered ; Paranjpe opened the vials of his satire and his 
speech became more scorching than the fire itself. As ordained 
by Tilak the youths left tlie place after the fire was completely 
extinguished. Later on when N. C. Kelkar remarked that 
economically the bonfire was a waste, Savarkar gently 
retorted that the spark it would light would be mentally and 
morally more valuable and lasting. 

Thus Poona had the first bonfire of foreign cloth in India I 
Its flames whirled high up in the sky and the noise echoed 
throughout the length and breadth of India. Hatred of British 
domination was rising and Savarkar added fuel to the fire of 
hatred. In his later life Kelkar often mentioned that the 
speeches made in those days by Savarkar left an indelible 
imprint on his memory for a good many years. Even the 
police reporters were enamoured of his gift of the gab. 
Describing Savarkar ’s speech at the Sarvajanik Sabha in 
Poona one reporter says : “ It was so dexterous ! so tri- 
umphant ! He is at the most twenty-two, but he is already an 
accomplished orator of an enviable rank.” 

The flames of the bonfire also scorched the heads of the 
Fergusson College. These fearless views and deeds of 
Savarkar were fiery enough to burn their relations with the 
Bombay University. The leading part played by this fiery 
youth in the bonfire affair turned their moderate heads, and 
R. P. Paranjpe, the then Principal, fined Savarkar Rs. 10 and 
expelled him from the college residency. Two crosses now 
glorified Savarkar’s lion-like chest. He was the first Indian 
leader to make a bonfire of foreign cloth in India and the first 
Indian student who was rusticated from a Government-aided 
institution. The reaction was wide and virulent. Tilak de- 
nounced this action on the part of the college authorities and 
declared ; “ They are not our Gurus.” Almost all patriotic 


papers condemned this unwise step taken by the college 
authorities. A wave of indignation passed all over Maha- 
rashtra. Sympathy and money poured in. Savarkar paid 
the fine from the fund and donated the balance towards the 
Industrial Fimd known as the Paisa Fund. 

In one respect this incident is significant, for it marked the 
fight between two coming ideologies which continued in 
Indian politics for years to come. Gandhiji from South Africa 
criticised the bonfire, as, even for twenty years thereafter, he 
hugged the belief that boycott movement had its roots in 
hatred and violence. And Gandhiji was not far away from 
his Guru in this opinion. Gokhale said in his Presidential 
Address at the Benares Congress in 1905 : “ It is well to 
remember that the term ‘ boycott ’, owing to its origin, has 
got unsavoury associations, and it conveys to the mind before 
everything else a vindictive desire to injure another. Such 
a desire on our part, as a normal feature of our relations with 
England, is of course out of the question.” 

The Moderates tried, but failed in winning over Savarkar to 
their side. Savarkar had great regard for Gokhale’s great 
talents and profound patriotism, but he differed from him 
fundamentally and temperamentally as well. The feelings 
and opinions of the professors, who were mostly Moderates, 
about Savarkar were mingled with awe and aversion. For 
their part they respected his intellectual powers, admired his 
fervid oratory, but detested his revolutionary views. One of 
them, Prof. Patwardhan, foretold that Savarkar was bound to 
be a great demagogue. Time has its revenge. Thirty-eight 
years later presiding over the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of 
his disciple Savarkar, Sir R. P. Paranjpe said with pride : 
“ In his younger days as I knew him, Savarkar was marked 
by a keen intellect, fervid eloquence, great fluency in writing 
and magnetic personality. I remember his patriotism was 
intense, but as is natural to young men, it was based entirely 
on strong emotions not much regulated by cold reason.” 

Paranjpe is only a great mathematician statesman. And 
an extraordinary personality like Savarkar lies beyond the 
pale of the general enunciation of his theorem as put in the 
last line of his speech. Indeed if there is any great revolu- 
tionary leader worth the name in the history of revolutions 


whose emotions are regulated by cool reason, it is Savarkar. 
This can be proved by citing occasions on which he bridled 
the emotions and thoughtless daring plans of his lieutenants. 
Moreover, if you are to be a leader of action or revolution, 
you must raise your reason to a certain pitch of emotion. 
Otherwise your reason will forget that you have to lead, leap 
and lift and will rust ! 

While these turbulent and tumultuous days were rolling 
by, Savarkar’s B.A. Examination was fast approaching. As 
was always customary with him, he studied day and night at 
the fag end of the year, made up all the studies in the last two 
months, appeared for the examination and to the joy and jubi- 
lations of the public came out successful. Congratulations 
from all parts of Maharashtra were showered upon him. It 
was not his personal triumph only. It was also the success 
of the youth movement and the advancing tide of nationalism. 

In the meanwhile Savarkar the prolific writer was coming 
to the front. His famous ballads on Tanaji and Baji Prabhu, 
the heroes of the Maratha history, were penned during this 
period. The ballads were proscribed, but they attained the 
popularity of folk songs in Maharashtra during the last four 
decades until at last they were restored in Free India. His 
lyric of patriotism, his inspiring songs of heroes, his ballads 
and hymns thrilled clubs and kitchens, schools and choruses 
and meetings, and he was hailed as a bard of Freedom or a 
rebel poet. His famous poem on Widowhood of Hindu ladies 
dealt severely with unjust customs and cruel traditions, and 
brought out a very touching picture of the child widow, 
attacking the brutal desires of old bridegrooms. 

The charm of the poem was so irresistible that even men 
like Kaka Kalelkar remember it today. In this poem one 
finds the seeds of the great social reformer in Savarkar. The 
poem won the prize in the competition for which it was meant, 
the other rival sharing half the prize. “ What is everlasting 
in this world ? ” Savarkar asks in another poem. He sings ; 

“ The sun sets, the sea ebbs. All things rise and fall.’* In 
this Savarkar hinted at the sure downfall of the British 
Empire. That there is an end to everything is an eternal 

During the same period Savarkar wrote many memorable 



articles and brilliant essays. Among the important essays 
ranks, “ Why should we celebrate the festival of historic 
personalities ? ” This was a prize article. In this thought- 
provoking and brilliant essay one is impressed by his pro- 
found thinking, the historical deductions he has arrived at, 
and the sweep of his originality. He concludes his essay in 
a grand peroration : “ Why, then, should the historical func- 
tions be celebrated ? To pay our national gratitude we owe 
to those heroic souls. They should be celebrated as a mark 
of reverence and remembrance of the immense good those 
benevolent men have done to the world, because they have 
sacred sanction of ancient traditions. They are the clouds 
which shower the nectar of instruction. They are the monu- 
ments of virtues. They are the chemicals that act as an incen- 
tive to human thoughts and feelings. They are the preceptors 
who impart virtuous instruction to the youths. They are the 
living history of the deeds of noble heroes. Functions in their 
honour should be celebrated because of this. There are so 
many advantages and definitely no disadvantages. Especially 
we, Hindus, should take to these functions for emerging out of 
the present degraded state which was the result of want of 
self-respect and dutifulness. For, that is the only easy and 
sure path to the prosperity of the nation.” 

Savarkar wrote brilliant prose. His imagination soared high 
up in the sky on the wings of an eagle. It aspired to emulate 
the loftiness of the Himalayas. It visualised “ the Himalayas 
towering above the roof of the world to see whether there was 
any other country under the sun as captivating as Hindu- 
sthein. Elated at not finding on earth an equal of Hindusthan, 
he opened the apartments of the heavens. But there, O Aryan 
Land, instead of finding your equal, he found something else. 
Enamoured of the snow-clad peaks of the Himcdayas, the 
nymphs and the virgin attendants of the Gods clung to his 
neck and deserting the capital of Indra, they lived with him.” 
“ The diamonds and jewels,” proceeds Savarkar, “ O, Aryan 
Mother, you have preserved for us in the mines can easily 
crowd to overflowing a ship made of this vast world.” 

One thing more and of tremendous significance. In 1902 
Savarkar had written in the Kal one essay which he concluded 
with a prophetic vision. He stated therein : “ Hindus are 


responsible for the poverty and disorderliness of Hindusthan. 
But if they ever desire to attain prosperity, they must remain 
as Hindus.” This deep-rooted, farsighted and fundamentally 
original characteristic of Savarkar’s outlook differentiated him 
from Tilak and Shivrampant Paranjpe. 


Savarkar’s secret organisational work had not stopped 
during those days. While at college he had convened in 1904 
a meeting of some two hundred selected members of the 
Mitra Mela. In an atmosphere fUled with grandeur and 
religiosity, the name of the Revolutionary Party was changed 
from the Mitra Mela to the Abhinava Bharat. Now the paiiy 
girded up its loins to extend its political and revolutionary 
activities and influence, spread its net all over India, and 
assume the responsibility of a revolution on an all-Bharat 

After passing his B.A. in December 1905, Savarkar went 
to Bombay to study law. He had already passed his first 
LL.B. in 1904, in Poona. In Bombay he organised youths 
from different colleges. He had also propaganda meetings in 
chawls. Sri Bal Gangadhar Kher, who later became the first 
Premier of Bombay under the 1935 Government of India Act, 
was one of those youths who came under the influence of the 
leader of the Abhinava Bharat. Kher was an initiate of the 
Abhinava Bharat. It was in Poona that Sri J. B. Kripalani, 
an ex-President of the Indian National Congress, was initiated 
into the Abhinava Bharat while he was a student in the Dec- 
can College. Hundreds of youths now joined the organisation. 

While in Bombay Savarkar contributed to the Vihari, a 
local Marathi Weekly and made it the mouth-piece of the 
Abhinava Bharat. Its circulation grew by leaps and bounds, 
like its fiery sister weekly, the Yugantar of Bengal. Savarkar 
was now the acclaimed leader of the revolutionary movement 
which had spread almost all over Maharashtra. So he was 
invited to deliver speeches at public meetings, festivals and 
functions in Maharashtra. A brilliant young man with a black 
cap, short-collared coat, square jaws, presentable forehead, 
prominent cheek-bones, leader Savarkar was an energetic and 


magnetic figure. The propaganda and popularity of the 
revolutionary leader rose rapidly and his arrest seemed 
inevitable. Rumours about his arrest were afloat in Nasik, 
Poona and Bombay, but they proved to be false. 

During his stay in Bombay Savarkar was one day called by 
the students of Poona to interview a person named Agamya 
Guru. Savai’kar went to Poona for the purpose. But in a 
few minutes the interview terminated. The Agamya Guru 
was as abstruse as his name. But more ridiculous was the 
invention of the C.I.D. that traced Savarkar ’s inborn spring of 
inspiration to the recluse. Poor creatures ! they knew not 
that mathematics and mahatmatics never go together ! 

About this time news came to India that Pandit Shyamji 
Krishna Varnia, then resident of London, offered scholarships 
for Indian students desiring to study in Europe. Savarkar 
revolved the idea in his mind. The scholarship being 
insufficient he first approached his father-in-law in the matter. 
He made sure of some help from him and applied for one of 
the scholarshif'S with recommendations of Tilak and Shivram- 
pant Paranjpe. Giving a brief sketch of his career Savarkar 
proceeds in his application : “ Independence and Liberty I 
look upon as the very pulse and breath of nation. From my 
boyhood, dear sir, uptc» this moment of my youth, the loss of 
Independence of my country- and the possibility of regaining 
it form the only theme of which I dreamt by night and on 
which I mused by day.” Tilak’s recommendation runs as 
follows. ” When there is such a rush like that, it is no use 
recommending any one particularly to your notice. But, still, 
I may state, among the applicants there is one Mr. Savarkar 
from Bombay, who graduated last year and whom I know to 
be a spirited young man very enthusiastic in the swadeshi 
cause so much so that he had to incur the displeasure of the 
Fergusson College authorities. He has no mind to take up 
Government service at any time and his moral character is 
very good.” Pandit Shyamji Krishna Vai’ma agreed. Signing 
an agreement before Tilak, Savarkar received a sum of Rs. 400 
through him as the first instalment of the Shivaji Scholarship 
which Pandit Varma awarded to him. Shivaji and Savarkar 
were thus grouped together by Shyamji. 


Savarkar made preparations for the voyage. On the eve of 
his departure for liondon he was given a send-off at a big 
public meeting in Nasik. He bade farewell to his wife and his 
son named Prabhakar. Amidst an atmosphere filled with 
various dreams of Savarkar’s futvure greatness his relations, 
his comrades and devotees gave him in Bombay a hearty send- 
off on June 9, 1906, and the steamer Persia, left Bombay on 
her great voyage with the prince of Indian Revolutionaries on 
her deck for the consummation of his great vision, great aim 
and great deeds. 


Revolutionary Activities in Europe 


The year 1906 was a landmark in Indian politics. During 
this year Savarkar, the leader of the Abhinava Bharat, went 
to London. That year saw the birth of the Muslim League at 
Dacca. The formation of Barindranath’s revolutionai'y party 
at Maniktola, a suburb of Calcutta, and the foundation of the 
revolutionary institution, the Anushilan Samiti, took place 
during the same year. 

With a band of a few hundred youths at his command in 
Maharashtra, Savarkar left India. Maharashtra was too small 
a field for the young lion and the lion went in search of lions. 
During those days revolutionaries from Russia, Ireland, Egypt 
and China occasionally took shelter in London. Under the 
garb of a law student, Savarkar also was going to enter the 
gates of the Empire capital. His main object was to have a 
look at the den of the British lion, to learn how to organize 
a revolution and carry on the struggle for the liberation of 
Hindusthan by inculcating tenets of revolution into the 
brilliant brains of the cream of the Indian students, who went 
abroad either for academic careers or for qualifying them- 
selves for the civil service. The young orator of Maharashtra 
was now to be in London, the largest debating society under 
the sun. 

On board the ship Persia Savarkar happened to come across 
a youth named Harnam Singh who became since then a 
devoted follower of Savarkar. Harnam Singh was homesick. 
He was about to give up his journey to England. But Savarkar 
persuaded him easily. He pointed out to him how the 
adventurous and ambitious British, French and Portuguese 
youths served in foreign lands for the glory and welfare of 
their Motherland and how his Motherland suffered for want 
of daring sons. He further said to Harnam Singh : “ Dear is 
one’s own mother, but dearer, by far, is and ought to be our 


Motherland, the Mother of mothers of our race.”^ And 
Hamam Singh went to London. 

Savarkar reached London in the first week of July 1906, 
and took his lodgings at the India House founded by Pandit 
Shyamji Krishna Varma. In due covu*se Savarkar was 
admitted to Gray’s Inn, one of the four Iims of Court in 
London, Pandit Shyamji, who had awarded the Shivaji 
scholarship to Savarkar, had established a Home Rule Society 
and the India House during the first quarter of 1905. A 
sterling patriot and a noted social reformer. Pandit Shyamji 
was highly respected as an incomparable authority on Sanskrit 
Works by eminent scholars like Prof. Max Muller and Prof. 
Monier Williams. Born on October 4, 1857, he came of a poor 
family by name Bhansali. He studied upto the Matriculation 
class in the Elphinstone High School, Bombay. During his 
school days he went on a lecturing tour on behalf of the Arya 
Samaj as the right-hand man of Swami Dayananda. He 
married the daughter of Seth Chhabildas Lallubhai and 
through the influence of Prof. Monier Williams proceeded to 
London in March 1879, took his B.A. at Cambridge and was 
called to the bar. There he read his essay on ‘ The Origin of 
Writing in India ’ in the Royal Asiatic Society of London and 
was elected its member. In 1881 he was sent by the Secretary 
of State for India to represent India at the Berlin Congress 
of Orientalists. On his return to India he successfully served 
three Indian States, Ratlam, Udaipur and Junagad either in 
the capacity of a Divan, or a Member of the Council. Dtu-ing 
his term of office at Junagad he went out of his way to oblige 
one European officer named Maconochie, who, with the aid of 
Divan, ultimately sacked the Pandit himself. This one-time 
disciple of Swami Dayananda was greatly influenced by Tilak 
also. After the arrest of Tilak he permanently left India for 
London. There he studied Herbert Spencer and was deeply 
influenced by his philosophy, so much so that he announced 
at the latter’s fvmeral on December 4, 1903, a donation of 
£1,000 for establishing a Lectureship in the name of his 
English Guru in the University of Oxford. 

Through the columns of his Indian Sociologist Pandit 
Shyamji started agitation for Home Rule for India. Observing 

^ Chitra Gupta, Lije of Barrister Savarkar, p. 35. 

revolutionary activities in EUROPE 29 

Savarkar’s whole-hearted devotion to the cause of freedom, 
burning mission and phenomenal energy, he developed a 
paternal affection for Savarkar. He went over to the 
Abhinava Bharat, and was initiated into its fold. In 1907 he 
entrusted the management of the India House entirely to 
Savarkar and left for Paris. Few have spent so much, 
struggled so hard, and donated so abundantly towards the 
freedom movement of India as Pandit Shyamji, the great 
patriot, did in those early days of difficulties, dangers and 
despair of Indian Freedom Movement. He was a lover of 
Spencer’s dictum that ‘ re.sistance to aggression is not simply 
justifiable but imperative What was most striking, he had 
ruthlessly denounced Gandhiji for helping the British against 
the Boers who fought for their liberation. 

It is worth mentioning what the Muslim students thought 
of this India House. Mr. Ziauddin Ahmed, then in Germany, 
warned Mr. Abdulla Sulmawardy in these clear words : “ You 
know that we have a definite political policy at Aligarh, i.e. 
the policy of Sir Syed ... I understand that Mr. Krishna 
Varma has founded a society called ‘ Indian Home Rule 
Society ’ and you are also one of its vice-presidents. Do you 
really believe that the Mohammedans will be profited if Home 
Rule be granted to India ? . . . There is no doubt that this 
Home Rule is decidedly against the Aligarh policy. . . . What 
I call the Aligarh policy is really the policy of all the 
Mohammedans generally — of the Mohammedans of Upper 
India particularly.” ^ Mr. Asaf Ali wrote to Pandit Shyamji 
in September 1909 : “ I am staying with some Muslim friends 
who do not like me to associate with nationalists ; and, to save 
many unpleasant consequences, I do not want to irritate them 
unnecessarily.” - Thus the Muslim antagonism to the Freedom 
Movement of India dates back to its beginning itself. 


As soon as Savarkar established himself, he started the 
“ Free India Society It was a recruiting institution of the 
Abhinava Bharat and worked openly. Savarkar organised 
Indian students and transformed majority of them into patriots 

1 S. L Karandikar, Savarkar-Charitra, pp. 132-33. 

“ Ibid., p. 133. 


and martyrs. His magnetic personality brought Bhai Parma- 
nanda, then a well-known leader of light and learning, into the 
revolutionary movement. He attracted Lala Hardayal. A 
staimch Hindu, Hardayal had an instinctive disbelief in, and 
hatred for, the Muslims. He was a man of strong emotions and 
great vision, and wielded a mighty pen. Savarkar’s another 
colleague was Vireiidianath Chattopadhyaya, brother of the 
late Mrs. Sarojini Naidu. He was a student at the Middle 
Temple Inn and was expelled during Savarkar’s slonny days 
in London. A great bi'ain and a brilliant journalist, he died 
mysteriously an exile in tiie custody of Stalin’s Russia during 
World War II. Sri V. V. S. Aiyer, a lawyer from Rangoon, 
had been to London for qualifying himself for the bar. He 
was drawn to the Abhinava Bharat by Savarkar and became 
the Vice-President of the Abhinava Bharat and the right-hand 
man of Savarkar. Aiyer was a saintly soul who lived a life 
of sacrifice and worship. Sri Sardarsinghji Rana hailed from 
one of the old ruling families of Kathiawar. He had natur- 
alised in France and was a fearless supporter of the struggle 
for Indian Independence. 

Sri Gyanchand Varma was Secretary of the Abhinava 
Bharat, and was a man of great capacity and calibre. Madame 
Cama was another great patriotic personality. She was 
previously secretary to Dadabhai Naoroji while he was a 
member of the British Parliament. She accepted the 
revolutionary philosophy of the Abhinava Bharat and was the 
first Indian to hoist the national tricolour flag of India at the 
Socialist Conference in Germany in 1907. She died unnoticed 
in 1937 in Bombay amidst ungrateful surroundings. Senapati 
Bapat was meant for Ekigineering, but, destined as he was to 
engineer bridges and roads for Indian Freedom, he joined the 
revolutionary camp. A peerless patriot and selfless saintly 
leader, he has been a great and good name in the revolutionary 
movement. Madanlal Dhingra was another Engineering 
student. He was a darting arrow in the handcuffed hands of 
Mother India. Many others who rose in their later life to 
eminence like Dr. Rajan, Sri Shukla — ^who later became Prime 
Minister of C.P. — Sri Sukhasagar Dutt, brother of Ullaskar 
Dutt of Andamans fame, Sir Sikandar Hyat Khan, Khan of 


Nabha and others were initiated as members of the London 
branch of the Abhinava Bharat Society. 

What was the condition of Indian students in Britain in pre- 
Savarkarian days ? Formerly eight out of ten Indian students 
prided themselves on being more English in their make-up 
and mind than Englishmen themselves. So far, the dream of 
Lord Macaulay seemed realized to a large extent. He had 
expected the emergence of “ a class Indian in blood and colour, 
but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.” ’ 
Almost all educated Indians suffered from Anglomania. Indian 
students drank merrily, danced lustily and donned richly. 
They visited all quartei's freely, and were very apologetic in 
their talk about things Indian. After returning to India, these 
ambitious position-seekers would drum in the ears of their 
cotmtrymen many faked tales and garbled facts about the 
goodness and greatness of the British men and minds ! 

In these days India had no place in the pictures and columns 
of the British Press. That is why Dadabhai Naoroji, the 
Grand Old Man of India, had to purchase the shares of the 
Daily News to secure a place for his say in its columns. 

With the appearance of Savarkar the sun shone on the dark 
deeds of British Imperialism in India, and revealed the good 
side and the noble aspirations of India to Europe. Savai'kar 
was a youth great in courage, great in vision, great in ideas 
and great in action. The skyhigh towers and the ocean-wide 
powers of the British could not dazzle, delude, or overawe him. 
The mist disappeared. The towers and powers looked in their 
naked perspective. The members of the Free India Society 
began to think. They held weekly meetings, celebrated 
anniversaries of Shivaji, Guru Govind Singh and Guru Nanak 
and also the Dasara Festival. Indian students from all corners 
of Britain joined the festivals heart and soul. Of course there 
were some like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who did not join. 
They were political sucklings in their swaddling clothes resting 
at the breast of the West. With Savarkar’s powerful group 
to defend Indian aspirations, officially sponsored meetings in 
London did not go well. Strong youthful voices began to blow 
away the sheep clothing of God-fearing Englishmen like Sir 
Henry Cotton. Moved by the tragic vision of the downfall 

1 K. B. Krishna, the Problem of Minorities, p. 138. 



of the Indian Empire, Sir Henry Cotton appealed to the Indian 
youths to desist from their pei’ilous aim of carving out a free 
Independent India.^ English people and Press felt something 
stinging in their hearts. At this stage (Senapati) Bapat wrote 
a brochiure demanding Home Rule for India. As a result of 
this the Bombay University deprived him of the Sir Mangaldas 
Nathubhai Scholarship. Upon this Savarkar pungently 
commented whether that scholarship was meant for a student 
who prayed for the perpetual slavery of Hindusthan ! - 
In Britain May First was observed as a thanksgiving day 
in honour of the British victory over the Indian revolutionaries 
of 1857. In addition, now a drama was staged in London in 
1907 in which Rani Laxmi and Nanasahib were depicted as 
ruffians and murderers. To counteract the vilifying pro- 
paganda carried through the English play Savarkar decided 
to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the heroes of 1857. On 
the 10th of May 1907, Indians in Britain held meetings, observ- 
ed fasts, took vows, and paid their grateful homage to those 
great martyrs of 1857 and displayed on their chests memorial 
badges with pride. In trains and in streets scuffles ensued 
between impudent Britishers and the patriotic Indian youths 
who wore badges to commemorate the great memory of their 
heroes. Mr. Hamam Singh and Mr. R. M. Khan, who wore 
such badges, quitted their college protesting against the 
Principal’s words of insult about the heroes of 1857. Patriotic 
feelings clashed. These fearless heroic actions stirred the 
hornets’ nest of the British Press. The much-admired and 
adored Pandit Shyamji became notorious as a patriot Pandit ; 
for the patriotism of a Hindu was a narrower phase than 
Hmnanism in the eyes of the Imperialist Britishers ! Pandit 
Shyamji attained a marvellous notoriety in the eyes of the 
British journals and gentlemen who scathingly condemned 
him for his fearless propaganda for Home Rule ! Suspicion 
and alarm tightened their grip on the British mind. A little 
while ago Elnglishmen had described the blessings of Brahmins 
on Surendranath Banerjee as the coronation of the Emperor 
Surendranath ! This shock also quickened the palpitation of 
the Empire capital for a good many hours. 

1 Savarkar, Londonchi Batmi Patre, p. 17. 

2 Jbtd., p. 24. 


The debates and discussions held in the Free India Society 
on the political philosophy were hi^y inspiring and of a very 
high order. They echoed abo throughout India in Savarkar’s 
letters from London which were read with great interest. The 
members of the Abhinava Bharat were all intellectual giants. 
Savarkar gave them life and light. He told them that whoso- 
ever wanted to live a deathless life should die for the freedom 
of his country. He impressed upon their minds that peaceful 
evolution had a meaning and a sense, but peaceful revolution 
had neither. He emphasized : “ In the end passive resis- 
tance falls because it has no backing of the army and because 
it presupposes all men to be selfless and believes that all men 
will not co-operate with the aggressor." " Besides, it blindly 
presumes,” he went on, “ that the aggressor has a high sense 
of morality and will not resort to arms or enact new orders 
and ordinances.” He illustrated how passive resistance staged 
by the farm-workers of Narbonne in Southern France was 
suppressed by military forces in 1907 ! 

In young Savtirkar’s view the sea of htunanity was progres- 
sing. “The sooner the deliverance of humanity,” he pro- 
claimed, “ the surer the downfall of the British Imperialism ! ” 
According to him France was the God-given political labora- 
tory for making experiments with all kinds of Governments, 
all sorts of revolutions, and all categories of societies. “ The 
French people,” he said, “ are by nature gifted with imagina- 
tion and initiative and wonderful creative ability,” * 

Such was the power of his thoughts and personality ! 
Savarkar was both magnetic and mesmeric. The India House 
was completely under his spell. Sri M, P. T. Acharya, 
Savarkar’s one-time colleague, describes the young leader of 
the Abhinava Bharat vividly. He says : “ His personal 
charm was such that a mei'e shakehand could convert men as 
V. V. S. Aiyer and Hardayal — ^not only convert but even 
bring out the best out of them. Sincere men always became 
attached to him whether they agreed with or differed h:om 
him. Not only men in ordinary walks of life but even those, 
aspiring to high offices, recognised the purity of purpose in 
him, although they were poles apart from him, and deadly 
opponents as regards his political objectives. They even opened 

1 Savarkar, Londonchi Batmi Patre, p. €2. 



their ptirse for his propaganda. That means Savarkar had 
a rare tact in dealing with men of every variety. Savarkar’s 
aiisterity was itself a discipline to others, which easy-going 
people hated and shimned. England was a coimtry for amuse- 
ment and most people wanted to make the most out of it.” ^ 
Relating the story of his conversion Senapati Bapat observes : 
“ Before I met Savarkar, I had planned a revolutionary 
pamphleteer’s and lecturer’s life for myself. A few months 
after I met him, I cancelled my plan and took up the idea of 
going to Paris for learning bomb-making.” Bapat further 
observes : “ One of the chief reasons was the impression that 

Savarkar made on me by his brilliant writing and speaking. 

‘ Here is a born revolutionary writer and speaker ; ’ I said to 
myself, ‘ I may well leave writing and speaking to him and 
tixrn to some other work in the revolutionary field ’.” “ 
Mr. Asaf Ali described nicely the serious atmosphere of the 
India House of Savarkar’s days and wrote in his memoirs of 
Savarkar : “ I wonder how so young a person — for he could 

not have been much beyond two or three and twenty in 1909 
— commanded the will of almost everyone who came into 
contact with him.” Asaf Ali added that Savarkar was the 
spirit of Shivaji.* 


Another great task to which Savarkar devoted his energy 
was foreign propaganda. He was the first and foremost 
Indian leader who perceived and foresaw the impact of vital 
forces in international politics. Years after, Subhas Bose took 
up the thread where it had been left by this precmrsor and 
moved international forces for the cause of Indian freedom. 
To that end Savarkar wrote vigorous political articles on 
Indian affairs in the Gaelic America of New York, got them 
translated into German, French, Italian, Russian and 
Portuguese languages and had them published in the respec- 
tive countries. In this his aim was two-fold. First, he 
wanted to acquaint the civilised world with Indian affairs and 
enlist their moral sympathy for the cause of Indian freedom ; 

1 M. P. T. Acharya, The Mdhratta, dated 27-5-1938. 

2 Senapati Bapat, The Mahratta, dated 27-5-1938. 

“ Chitra Gupta, Life of Barrister Savarkar, p. 124. 


and secondly, he strove to make India a living issue in inter- 
national politics. It was with this aim in view that Savarkar 
had deputed Madame Cama ahd Sardar Singh Rana to 
represent India at the International Socialist Congress which 
was held in August 1907 at Stuttgart in Germany, In spite 
of the opposition from the British Socialist representative, 
Mr, Ramsay MacDonald, Madame Cama, with the support of 
Mr. Hyndman of England and M. Jean Jaures of France, 
stood before the Conference to move the resolution on India 
and unfurled tlie flag of Independence of India which was a 
creation of Savarkar and his colleagues. Inspired by the call 
of Independence Madame Cama addressed the Conference 
fervently and said : “ This flag is of Indian Independence. 

Behold it is born ! It is already sanctified by the blood of 
martyred Indian youths ! I call upon you, gentlemen, to rise 
and salute this flag of Indian Independence. In the name of 
this flag I appeal to lovers of freedom all over the world to 
co-operate with this flag in freeing one-fifth of the human 
race ! ” ^ The delegates rose up and saluted the flag of Indian 
Independence. They were tremendously impressed by her 
speech and described Madame Cama as an Indian Princess ! 
How far these Herculian efforts of Savarkar and the great 
endeavours of his comrades were successful can be seen when 
no less a personality than the Kaiser himself clearly stated 
in his famous reply to President Wilson that absolute political 
Independence of India was one of the indispensable conditions 
for world peace ! 

The Indian revolutionaries of Abhinava Bharat were also 
in touch with the revolutionary forces of Russia, Ireland, 
Eg 5 T>t and China. Savarkar’s aim was to oi'ganize a united 
anti-British BYont with a view to rising in revolt simultane- 
ously against the British Empire. One of the schemes to be 
carried out by the United Front was ‘ the blocking of the Suez 
Canal in the event of an armed rising in India ! Prominent 
Egyptian leaders then residing in Paris had promised active 
support for carrying out the scheme ’ ! - Thus every minute, 
every word, every thought and every act of Savarkar breathed 
some sort of plan or idea for the liberation of his Motherland 

^Maharashtra Prakashan Sanstha, Savarkar-Charitra, p. 67. 

*Niranjan Pal, Thirty Years Ago, The Mahratta, dated 27-5-1938. 


and the downfall the British Empire. Such intense 
patriotism coupled with his yoimg age, his brilliant brains, his 
long*range plans and the British statesmen's correct reading of 
men and times were destined to invite on Savarkar unusually 
long incarceration as is the fate of every pioneer liberator of 
a slave coimtry ! 

The liberation of the Motherland was to be achieved by a 
preparation for war which included (1) the teaching of 
Swadeshi, Boycott and national training ; (2) purchase and 
storing of weapons in neighbouring states ; (3) opening of 
small factories ; (4) purchasing weapons in foreign coimtries 
and smuggling them into India ; (5) adopting guerilla tactics 
whenever possible, and (6) waiting for a favourable oppor- 
tunity to rise in revolt. That opportimity was drawing near. 
There were abundant indications that a war was imminent in 
Europe; and the revolutionaries of the Abhinava Bharat 
expected to take advantage of the world situation and fight 
out the Britishers to win back the independence of their 
Motherland. In the first issue of the Talwar, the chief organ 
of Abhinava Bharat, Savarkar had fully discus.sed and 
weighed the possibilities of the outbreak of a war in Europe 
within four or five years while explaining the complicated 
affaii's arising out of the Kiel Canal in 1908. And that golden 
opportunity was not to be missed. 

With that end in view Savarkar and his Abhinava Bharat 
Society were busy writing, printing, packing and posting 
explosives and inflaming literature. Savarkar often appeared 
at the weekly meetings of Abhinava Bharat with the colour 
of picric acid on his hands. Pistols were smuggled into India 
through books and books through false bottoms. The 
atmosphere was filled with heroic pride. The Abhinava 
Bharat deputed Senapati Bapat and Hemchandra Das to study 
the art of manufacturing bombs. They learnt it from a 
Russian revolutionary in Paris and brought a Bomb Manual 
from him. And Bapat, Hotilal Varma and Hemchandra Das 
left London for India with cyclostyled copies of the Bomb 

In India persecution and prosecution, repression and sup- 
pression reared their ugly heads. Brave and brilliant 
editors wrote with fiery pens. Vivekananda’s brother. 


Bhupendranath Dutt, editor of the Yugantar, Babu Arvind 
Ghosh, editor of the Bande Mataram, Sri Prithvigir Harigir, 
editor of the Harikishor, Yeotmal, and Sri Bhaskar Vishnu 
Phadke of the Vihari, Bombay, were arrested and sentenced 
to one or two years’ rigorous imprisonment. In the Punjab 
discontent and political excitement fanned by a set of regu- 
lations proposed for the new canal colonies reached a demge- 
rous point. To avert the trouble, Punjab’s great leader, Lula 
Lajpat Rai and the violent agitator Sardar Ajit Singh, were 

The year 1907 was in a turmoil and tempo. The left wing 
was forging ahead with the rise of Tilak. His titanic intellect, 
formidable personality and his great gifts of leadership wield- 
ed an unparalleled influence. Tilak was the first great mass 
leader of modern India who enjoyed a universal popularity. 
He denounced the mendicancy of the Congress method. His 
doctrine spread from province to province. All forces of action 
rose under his banner and ultimately the Surat Congress 
broke over the Ironsides of Tilakites and the young revolu- 
tionaries of Abhinava Bharat who had gathered at Surat and 
held a secret meeting of some two hundred strong at the 
instance of Babarao alias Ganeshpant Savarkar. 


The year 1908 saw many other stirring events in India. A 
new spirit was rising in India. The country was at the dawn 
of a new epoch. It was a time of violent repression, profound 
discontent and fierce antagonism. New hopes, .new desires, 
new measures and new thoughts were in the air. Love of 
freedom, hatred of slavery and hope for a great future 
captivated the young and the old alike. Poets and patriots 
blossomed forth. Youths vied with one another in making the 
purest and greatest sacrifices on the altar of freedom. Even 
revellers shed their revelry and revolted. India drifted from 
the policy of petition to the politics of pressure under Tilak 
and from the politics of pressure to the potency of powder 
under Savarkar. So tense were the feelings and so grim was 
the fight that even the good-hearted and god-fearing grand old 
man of India, Dadabhai Naoroji, was driven to despair and to 
the thought of revolt. The fiery doctrines of boycott of foreign 



goods, the propagation of Swadeshi and the hatred of foreign 
rule were spreading all over India. As a result of their fiery 
speeches Sri Subramanya Bharati, and Chidambaram Pillay, 
an initiated member of the Abhinava Bharat, were jailed. 
From London Savarkar was eagerly watching these events in 
Madras province. 

Another important event of note was that Senapati Bapat, 
Hotilal Varma and Hemchandra Das had bj^ now reached 
India and circulated the cyclostyled copies of the Bomb 
Manual through important centres of the revolutionaries. The 
new technique made bombs really effective. And then follow- 
ed the most outstanding and memorable event of the year that 
■fanned the sacrificial flames of revolution, when Khudiram 
Bose threw a bomb in Muzaffarpur on April 30. Two 
unfortunate English ladies were killed in the act instead of the 
District Magistrate, Mr. Kingsford, for whom the bomb was 
intended. It shook violently the whole of Hindusthan and 
resulted in the incarceration and transportation of brilliant 
editors, great leaders and daring youths of Bengal and Maha- 
rashtra. Khudiram’s comrade, Prafulla Chakravarti, killed him- 
self w’ith his revolver ; his other comrades, Kanailal Dutt and 
Satyendra Bose shot down the approver Narendra Goswami 
in the hospital of the Alipore jail and died on the gallows, and 
the famous Maniktola trial ended in the transportation of a 
batch of valiant fighters like Babu Arvind’s brother Barindra- 
nath Gbose, \311askar Dutt, Hemchandra Das, Indu Bhushan 
■Roy, Dpendranath Bancrjee and many others to the Andamans. 
To cope with the growing furious tide of this revolution Lord 
Minto, the Viceroy of India, asked Lord Morley, the Secretary 
of State for India for more repressive measures. Morley was 
opposed to a policy of repression. But vain, vacillating, 
touchy, subtle and a bookish liberal that he was, he ultimately 
yielded. And Lord Minto promulgated new regulations, 
Criminal Law Amendment Acts and blacked out all the “ Four 
Freedoms ”. In Mahara.shtra, Shivrampant Paranjpe was 
sentenced to 19 months’ rigorous imprisonment for his inflam- 
matory article on the Muzaffarpur Bomb affair. For a similar 
reason Tilak, the father of Indian unrest, was deported to 
Mandalay on July 23. From his talk with Gokhale, Morley 
had scented that Tilak was in close touch with Savarkar and 


Bapat and the British Government had asked the Indian Gov- 
ernment to arrange for his incarceration. For just before the 
decision of the Tilak case some of the members of the 
Abhinava Bharat had intercepted in Bombay one night 
a message from the British Government regarding the Tilak 
affair which contained the information. Sri R. N. Mandlik, 
editor of the Vihari, Sri Dhondopant Phadke of the Arunoday, 
Thana, Sri Balwantrao Limaye of the Swaraj, Sholapur, Sri 
Achyut Balvant Kolhatkar of the Sandesh, Nagpur, Sri N. V. 
Bhave of the Harikishor, Yeotmal, and the editor of the Pratod, 
Satara, were also put in prison. The approver in the Alipore 
case had disclosed Senapati Bapat’s connection with the 
Bengali revolutionaries. Upon this Senapati Bapat eluded the 
police, escaped and went into voluntary exile for years. Bengal 
and Maharashtra were closely linked ! Sir Valentine Chirol 
who was then travelling in India wrote to the London Times : 

“ The Deccan is honeycombed with secret societies. . . . Even 
in Bengal, the Bengalees did the shouting ; it was Poona that 
provided the brains that directed the Bengali extremists.” ^ 

And the fountainhead of the revolutionary movement in 
India was Savarkar, the acknowledged leader of the India 

The news of Tilak's arrest came as a thunderbolt to Indians 
in London. The great statesman Sri Gokhale was then in 
London on his fourth political visit, this time on account of the 
Morley-Minto Reforms proposals then in the offing. Fearfully 
or prayerfully Gokhale declined to preside over a meeting 
held in London to protest against the deportation of Tilak and 
the repressive measures of the Indian Government, nor did 
he attend the meeting. What a contrast ! Morley rightly 
wrote to Minto that Gokhale, as a party manager, was a baby 
and while any politician aspiring to be a leader should never 
whine, Gokhale whined like a second-rate leader ! - In the 
same letter Morley appreciated Tilak’s spirit. Whereupon 
Minto expressed his view that Tilak was an arch-leader of 
sedition ! ® Hiuniliated at the timid and spineless attitude of 
Gokhale and hurt by his blank refusal, some of the hotheads 

Savarkar, Londonchi Batmi Potre, p. 112. 

-K. B. Krishna, The Problem of Minorities, p. 141. 

« Ibid., p. 142. 


in the revolutionary camp thought of putting an end to his 
life. But Savarkar bridled them and Wtterly condemned the 
very sinful thought. He voiced a timely warning that such 
a mad act and attack on one of their compatriots for his own 
way of thinking would imperil the power and prestige of the 
revolutionary movement.^ The proposed meeting was then 
held in the Caxton Hall under the chairmanship of Mr. Parekh, 
and by a special resolution condemned Gokhale’s attitude 

Immediately after Gokhale’s arrival Savarkar with his 
lieutenants, Dr. Rajan and Sri V. V. S. Aiyer, had seen 
Gokhale and Sri Ramesh Chandra Dutt. There was a discus- 
sion on the War of 1857 between them. Gokhale had taught 
history and Dutt was a historian. In the course of his talk 
with them Savarkar stressed the point of writing and 
interpreting the history of 1857 from the national point of 
view. The historian agreed to this, but the statesman 
disagreed and the discussion ended. 


The last quarter of 1908 was the busiest period for the Free 
India Society. Leaders of note and figures of fame from 
India had reached London. Lala Lajpat Rai, Gokulchand 
Narang, Babu Bcpin Chandra Pal, Gokhale, .Dutt, G. B. 
Khaparde and R. V. Karandikar — ^the last pair for the Tilak 
case appeal — ^were then in London. October 16 was observed 
as Anti-Partition day, and under the chairmanship of Lala 
Lajpat Rai, Khaparde, Karandikar and B. C. Pal spoke on the 
occasion. On the same day in the same hall a meeting was 
held to extend sympathies to the Indians in South Africa. Sir 
Mancherjee Bhownagari was in the chair and Lajpat Rai, 
Savarkar, Pal, Khaparde and others were the speakers. Babu 
Bepin Pal captivated his audience with his powerful oratory. 
His lectimes delivered later on in the Caxton Hall on the 20th 
and 21st December were attended by many Englishmen. 

On December 20, a National Conference was held. Dada- 
sahib Khapsurde presided. Madame Cama spoke on the * Boy- 
cott ’ resolution which was seconded by Sri Gyanchand 

’ Savarkar, Mori Janmathep, p. 163. 


Vanna. At the same meeting Sri V. V. S. Aiyer spoke on the 
resolution on Turkastan congratulating her on becoming a 
Republic and was seconded by Sir Aga Khan, afterwards 
H.H. the Aga Khan. The main resolution demanding ‘ Swaraj ’ 
was moved by Dr. Kumarsxvami and Savarkar seconded it. 
Addressing the Conference Savarkar said that the true 
meaning of Swaraj was absolute political independence. He 
also told his audience : “ Knowing this full well, you are 
voting for this resolution. Before pas.sing this resolution just 
bring before your mind’s eye the dreadful pi'ison walls, and 
the dreary dingy cells.” The resolution was passed 
unanimously. “The Morley-Minto Reh rms,” declared the 
conference by another resolution, “ are deceptive, disappoint- 
ing and insulting inasmuch as they will foment communal 
tension in India.” And so indeed they proved to be a great 
slur on the growdh of constitutionalism in India. Minto’s 
craze to outshine the efficient Curzon, his policy of counter- 
poise, his fear of a Muslim revolt as threatened by Sir Syed 
Ahmed, the spineless nature and want of grit in Gokhale and 
Morley’s proverbial unfamiliarity with Indian affairs cul- 
minated in a communal division of India holding a nascent 
threat to Indian unity ! But the reforms were beyond doubt 
a surrender to the revolutionary agitation in India and outside. 
“ I detect,” wrote Sir Valentine Chirol from Bombay on 
January 8, 1909, to the London Times, “ a very general 
tendency to ascribe these lavish gifts to the vigorous actions 
of the extremists. If it had not been for the bombs, we should 
not have had these boons, was a remark which roughly 
summed up the popular opinion in this aspect of the subject.” ^ 
Immediately after the conference in the decorated Caxton 
Hall, the birth-day anniversary of Guru Govindsingh was 
celebrated on the 29th of December 1908, when Babu Bepin 
Chandra Pal presided. The function began with the song 
‘ Amar Desh ’, and Savarkar’s famous song ‘ Priyakar 
Hindusthan ’. Sri Gokulchand Narang read at the meeting 
his essay on the Guru. Lala Lajpat Rai with his unbending 
personality, sturdy patriotism, hallowed by his constructive 
work and with his profound erudition poured forth his burn- 
ing words. He was a very effective speaker and held a high 
^ London Times^ dated 25-1-1909. 


place among the orators of India. Babu Bepin Chandra Pal, 
a sterling patriot, an orator of high rank, a well-read scholar, 
a thinker and a great editor also spoke on the occasion. It 
was a meeting of scholars, speakers and orators ! After these 
great speeches, Savarkar was pressed by the audience to 
speak, and he rose amid a deafening applause. Gifted with a 
moving tongue, spotless sincerity and burning heart, he 
thrilled his audience. A man of faith and conviction is 
always irresistible and all-conquering. So was Savarkar with 
the personality of a hero ! In the lighted, moving and inspired 
atmosphere created by Savarkar even the magic speech of 
India’s greatest orator, Sui-endranath Banerjee, the heartforce 
and fire of Bepin Babu, the freshness and fervour of Lajpat 
Rai and the polished diction of Syed Reza paled into 
insignificance ! The only giant Savarkar had not crossed his 
swords with, was Pherozeshah Mehta, but even with his great 
power of rhetoric Mehta was no Surendranath. Describing 
Savarkar as the best orator he ever heard in India or England, 
Mr. Asaf Ali wrote afterwards : “ Nor is it an exaggeration to 
say Savarkar is one of the few really effective speakers I have 
known and heard, and there is hardly an orator of the first 
rank either here or in England whom I have not had the 
privilege of hearing — excepting Mr. Eardly Norton, of whom 
I have heard so much that I should be almost reluctant to 
avail myself of the opportunity of hearing him speak lest I 
should be disappointed.” ' 

The fervid patriotism, love of unity and a will to sacrifice 
in the Indian youths became an eyesore to the Britishers. 
One man’s meat is another man’s poison ! The newspapers 
cried hoarse against them. “ Crush the extremists and rally 
roxmd the Moderates ” was their theme. British Press, 
pensioners and patriots also grew alarmed at the daring and 
disloyal attitude of the Indian youths. In the words of the 
Standard, “ it is beyond question that not a few of the highly 
intelligent Indians in our Universities and reading for the Bar, 
are striving their utmost by such means, particularly to 
accustom the minds of young rising generation to the idea of 
an armed revolt ! ” ^ 

* Chitra Gupta, Life of Barrister Savarkar, p. 126. 

2 Savarkar, Londonchi Batmi Patre, p. 108. 


The London Times endorsed this view and asked the Gov- 
enunent to take great care to control education and to be very 
careful as to the kind of people whom it appointed to teach 
the youth of India.’ A meeting was also held under the 
presidency of Lord Lamington, an ex-Govemor of Bombay, to 
consider and adopt means to socialize these warlike elements. 
But the meeting was hotly disturbed, only B. C. Pal getting 
a smooth hearing. An incident added fuel to the fire. Sri Vasu- 
deo Bhattacharya, ex-editor of Sandhya and one-time editor 
of Yugantar at about the same time struck Sir William Lee- 
Warner a blow on the face for having called Sri Kunjavihari 
Bhattacharya “ a dirty nigger ”. Sir Lce-Warner was, while 
in India, a terror to the Indian Princes ; and the attack on such 
a person was not an ordinary matter. Sri Vasudeo Bhatta- 
charya was prosecuted and fined Rs. 20. But the attack made 
India House the talk of the whole city. If anyone gave his 
address as India House, the listener would at once look up 
at the man and say, “ Then you belong to the revolutionary 
party ! ” Artists and careerists in London took a dread and 
said, “ Who will go to India these days ? There bombs may 
explode anywhere and at any moment ! ” 

The British Press and the people thus turned their attention 
to the wonderful India House at Highgate and its leader. But 
when representatives of newspapers visited it, they were 
surprised to see that Savarkar whom they criticised and 
opposed was merely a beardless and uptodatc youth of 
twenty-five. The Standard described Savarkar as an Indian, 
with youth and intelligence stamped upon him. Mr. Cambel 
Green wrote in the Sunday Chronicle that Savarkar was not 
only the spokesman of the students but also of Shyamji 
Krishna Varma and said, “ He has a clear olive complexion, 
clear deep penetrating eyes, and a width of jaw such as I have 
seen in few men. His English is excellent.” He added, “ The 
fact is Mr. V. D. Savarkar believes in India for the Indians 
and in the complete emancipation of India from the British 
Rule. He says India has nothing for what to thank the 
English, unless it be the denationalization, as he calls it, of 
the Hindus.” ^ 

Annie Besaht, Wake Up India, p. 238. 

- Savarkar, Londonchi Batmi Patre, p. 119. 


The Indian students talked in the Indian languages and 
Scotland Yard became non-plussed. So to their succoxu* was 
deputed one Mr. Kirtikar, who had worked in the Bombay 
High Coxurt in the capacity of a translator, to watch the 
activities of the Abhinava Bharat. This plain-clothed detec- 
tive resided at the India House under the guise of a student of 
Dental Surgery and every day he sent a secret report to the 
C.I.D. Office. Suspicion soon fell on him. Dr. Rajan and Sri 
Aiyer kept a watch over his activities. One night when he 
was out, they broke into his room and found an incomplete 
report awaiting dispatch to the C,I.D. On Kartikar’s return 
Savarkar and Aiyer interrogated him and unmasked his veil. 
Finding that his treachery was unearthed, he trembled from 
head to foot at the sight of Aiyer ’s rev'olver and confe.ssed the 
facts. The dental surgeon felt the loss of his teeth. However, 
instead of ejecting him Savarkar shrewdly allowed him to 
continue in India House to make him less troublesome. He, 
however, decided that Kirtikar’s reports should go to the 
C.I.D. only after his perasal ! 

Savarkar’s resourceful brain knew all the types and twists 
of the revolutionary business. He won the sympathies of the 
Irishmen serving in Scotland Yard who actually helped the 
Indian revolutionaries in smuggling political literature. 
Besides, the Abhinava Bharat had its secret agents in Scotland 
Yard. Niranjan Pal, a comrade of Savarkar and son of the 
Bengal leader, Bepin Chandra Pal, writes : “ In those days 
we, too, had our secret agents in Scotland Yard. Some of 
them were sent to London ostensibly as students but really to 
act as spies. Two of such men ingratiated themselves with 
Savarkar and secured lodgings in the India House. But such 
was Savarkar’s magnetic personality that soon they came 
under his spell and of their own accord, confessed everything 
to him.”^ Savarkar’s sharp and penetrating eyes and the 
peculiar way in which he cross-examined any visitor to the 
India House exposed many an expert C.I.D. and hoodwinked 
the watchdogs many a time. 

But the most remarkable and rare gift of Savarkar was 
his balanced mind and the power of discrimination. He was 
a revolutionary realist and never dre2unt of giving and taking 

1 Niranjan Pal, The Mahratta, dated 27-S>ld38. 

revolutionary activities in EUROPE 45 

life emotionally or by wasting human enei^ and life blindly. 
That outstanding characteristic of Savarkar distinguished him 
fron. the terrorist or a solitary reckless revolutionary. His 
aim was to rise in an organised revolt at the opportime time 
and liberate his country from the foreign yoke. The gift of 
his marvellous presence of mind and the realist in revolutio- 
nary Savarkar were seen when he checked Senapati Bapat 
who offered to bomb the House of Commons. Senapati Bapat 
states : “ I proposed once to attempt the life of the Secretary 
of State for India, at another time, I offered to drop a bomb 
in the Parliament House. On both occasions Savarkar 
refused his consent and on the second occasion took great 
pains to persuade me to return to India without delay for 
such work as was waiting for me here. I treasured his advice 
and followed it soon enough.” ' Savarkar checked the 
Senapati lest their secret mastery of science would be exposed 
before it reached India. Moreover, Savarkar prevented the 
revolutionary movement from falling into an abyss from a 
horrible precipice ! 


The hot discussions in the India House and the fiery speeches 
of Savarkar were too hot for some of the Indian leaders who 
visited England in those days. Gandhi ji of South African 
fame, who was proud of his being a loyal citizen of the British 
Empire, was one of them. Accompanied by the South African 
delegates, Gandhiji discussed political philosophy with Savar- 
kar. Arguments, reason and history were against Gandhiji, 
and his lieutenants supported Savarkar’s views. This left a 
sting of bitterness and Gandhiji vehemently attacked the 
London revolutionaries and indirectly Savarkar in a violently 
non-violent booklet entitled Maro Koto Panth ! The ideological 
fight between Gandhiji and Savarkar thus started during the 
first decade of the twentieth century, and continued markedly 
pronounced, though Savarkar was behind the bars xmdergoing 
trials and stresses of life away from the political scene. Their 
viewpoints, nay, their very outlook on life, were poles 
asunder ! It was a fight between the conscious Gautam and the 

1 Senapati Bapat, The Mahratta, dated 27-5-1938. 



spirited Shivaji. Gandhiji arrogated the religion of God to 
himself and imputed irreligion of the devil to the revolution^ 
aries and to those leaders who opposed him. Savarkar repre- 
sented the revolting force of a subject people. That force was 
the outcome of historic and human laws. This he had made 
amply clear in the opening issue of the Talwar, the chief organ 
of revolutionaries published from Pai-is in 1909. The passage 
quoted below will conspicuously cast a flood of light on 
Savarkar’s mental make-up and his human stand and prove 
his rational outlook. It states : “ We feel no special love for 
secret organisations or surprise and secret warfare. We hold 
that whenever the open preaching and practising of truth is 
banned by enthroned violence, then alone secret societies and 
secret warfare are justified as the inevitable and indispensable 
means to combat violence by force.’’ Savarkar further says : 
“ Whenever the natural process of national and political evo- 
lution is violently suppressed by the forces of wrong, then 
revolution must step in as a natural reaction and therefore 
ought to be welcomed as the only effective instrument to re- 
enthrone Truth and Right.” He then brilliantly sums up : 

“ You rule by bayonets and under these circumstances it is a 
mockery to talk of constitutional agitation when no constitu- 
tion exists at all. But it would be worse than a mockery, even 
a crime, to talk of revolution when there is a constitution that 
allows the fullest and freest development of a nation. Only 
because you deny us a gun, we pick up a pistol. Only because 
you deny us light, we gather in darkness to compass means 
to knock out the fetters that hold our Mother down.” * 

This great, grand and concise doctrine of the revolutionary 
philosophy of Savarkar would shine out amongst the 
doctrines of world-famous revolutionary philosophers. Presi- 
dent Thomas Masaryk, one of the eminent thinkers and men 
of action of the modern world, supports this stand when he 
says : “ Revolution is a moral act when it is the only means 
left for the defence of liberty and justice.”- And Masaryk 
was a leader who had worked out and experienced what a 
revolution was like ! Savarkar philosophized his doctrines 
when he was only six and twenty. If this is not rational 

1 Chitra Gupta, Life of Barrister Savarkar, p. 72. 

2 Emil Ludwig, Defenders of Democracy, p. 109. 

revolutionary activities in EUROPE 47 

t hinking , if this is not revolutionary realism and historical 
truth, what else is it ? A Shivaji is born with a love for 
justice, loyalty to truth, and obedience to God. He is a foe 
to tyranny and terror to aggression, for he believes with 
Franklin in the eternal truth that rebellion against tyrants is 
obedience to God. 

Despite these differences Gandhi ji presided over the Dasara 
Sammelan in London in 1909 which Savarkar was to address. 
Gandhiji said he was very proud to have the honour of sitting 
by the side of Savarkar. He expressed the hope that India 
would reap the fruits of Savarkar’s sacrifice and patriotism. 
Mr. Asaf Ali tells us that while formally introducing Savarkar 
that evening to the audience Gandhiji said, “ But Mr. Savar- 
kar, the speaker of the evening, is to follow me and I should 
not like to stand between you and him,” and Asaf Ali has des- 
cribed Savarkar’s speech on the day as one of the finest 
speeches he ever listened to ! ' In this speech Savarkar 
impressed upon his audience that without Sri Ramachandra 
life in India would be nothing. He asked them to remember 
that Rama established Ram Raj after slaying Ravan, the 
symbol of tyraimy, aggression and injustice, and added that 
Hindus were the heart of Hindusthan. 

The most singular and consistent note that prevails from 
that time till this day in Savarkar is that he was proud of his 
race and heritage. An incident of that period also underlines 
this fact. One day an English lady, residing in a hotel, asked 
Savarkar if he went to church on Sundays. He said, “ No ! ” 
The lady paused for a moment and asked him whether he and 
his friends were Hindus. Savarkar proudly replied that he 
was a Hindu. One of his colleagues protested that Sav'arkar’s 
assertion was too direct and would offend the English lady’s 
ear. Thereupon Savarkar retorted : “ Then change your 
father’s name if you are cowardly ashamed of it. But you 
may as well tell the lady that her being English offends my 
ear too.” - Savarkar, however, never hated any Englishman 
because he was an Englishman. 

In the meanwhile Minto was striving to crush the forces 
of seditious agitation in India with his new measures. 

1 Chitra Gupta, Life of Barrister Savarkar, p. 135. 

2 Savarkar, Londonchi Batmi Patre, p. 142. 


Repression was raging all round. But the revolutionary move- 
ment was still spreading and its morning shadow appeared to 
the Government longer than what it was. Soon one 

branch of Abhinava Bharat was unearthed at Gwalior, another 
at Satara and a few small factories of bombs and secret stores 
were unearthed in Maharashtra after the arrest of Savarkar’s 
elder brother Babarao. Babarao himself was sentenced to 
transportation for life on June 8, 1909. on a charge of having 
waged a war against the King-Eniperor by publisliing a book- 
let of inspiring poems ! One of these poems asked the people. 
‘'Pray tell, whoever got political freedom without a war?” 
In the absence of his leader brother, Bahai'au led in Maha- 
rashtra the then ‘ Quit India ’ movement backed by bombs 
and pistols. So hearing the shocking news of the confirmation 
of Babarao's transportation for life by the Bombay High Court 
in November 1909, Savarkar wrote from London a letter in 
poetical lines to his sister-in-law, Babarao’s wife, consoling 
her in her great sorrow at the severe blow. The letter written 
in verse has since then been a charm for Maharashtrian 
womanhood. Savarkar wrote — 

“ . . . Even so this our Motherland, our Mother, craving 
for the assistance of the Lord that she too be rescued 
from the crocodile clutches of Bondage, enters om: 
Garden, plucks a fresh flower from the bough and offers 
it at His feet in worship. . . .” 

“ Behold, O Sister, on one side stands watching the 
Past — souls of sages, saints aind heroes of our race gone 
before and on the other the Future — generations yet 
unborn.” ^ 

“ Deathless is the family that falls to a man, 

For the emancipation of its Motherland, 

Filling the skies with the fragrance of their sacrifice, 
Made in the welfare of man’s rise.” * 

Mark the great simile, noble interpretation of life ! The 
feelings are real, experienced and not adopted. He is truly a 
Great Man whose heart soars high, whose courage remains 
supreme and who can composedly dissolve himself into the 
Universal self or feels oneness with Him even when his ‘ self ’ 
is surroimded by flames ! 

1 Savarkar, An Echo from Andamans. * Translatioin. 


The Storm Breaks 


The Abhinava Bharat was pondering over the sentences 
passed upon the Maniktola revolutionaries. Babarao Savar- 
kar’s heroic sacrifice blazed vigorously under the sacrificial 
firmament. The boiling point of British reaction was reached. 
The zero hour had struck. And Sir Curzon Wyllie, the brain 
and eye of Indian affairs at the India House, fell a victim to 
the bullets of Madanlal Dhingra on the first night of July 1909. 
Along with him also fell Dr. Cawas Lalcaca, an Anglecised 
Parsee zealot, who tried to save the life of Sir Curzon WyUie. 
The fateful incident took place in the Hall of the Imperial 
Institute, London, at the conclusion of a meeting held to cele- 
brate the annual function of the National Indian Association. 

Madanlal Dhingra was a manly spirit, a man who looked 
into his open grave ! Smartly dressed he looked like a dandy. 
He was a devoted follower of Savarkar and was proud of his 
nation. One day someone taunted him that the Japanese 
were the bravest people in Asia. Dhingra retorted that his 
Hindu Nation was nothing less in comparison. In the course 
of the talk, it was decided to test the mettle of Madanlal him- 
self. A pin was pierced through his palm. Blood flowed 
out profusely, but Dhingra remained unperturbed. 

A few days before the Wyllie incident Dhingra had asked 
his leader whether the time for martyrdom had really come. 
Out came the epigrammatic reply from Savarkar : “ If a 
martyr is determined and ready that fact by itself generally 
implies that the time for martyrdom must have come.” 
Dhingra then joined a jolly club where high-placed English- 
men attended. He crept into their confidence. There he 
learnt to shoot and gained closer knowledge of men like Lord 
Morley, Lord Ciurzon and Sir Ciu^on Wyllie. The living symbol 
of racial arrogance, the Bengal culprit and the enlightened 
despot, Lord Curzon was Dhingra’s immediate target. A few 



days before at a meeting he had pursued this target with the 
eyes of a crocodile. But the doors of the Hall were closed 
in his face and restless Dhingra returned and said to Savor- 
kar, “ The tiger has escaped ! ” Determined to avenge the 
misdeeds the British Government perpetrated in India, he 
then fell on an equally responsible man, Sir William Curzon 
Wyllie, with the fierceness of a lion and achieved his end ! He 
was arrested forthwith. Two pistols, a knife and a dagger 
were found on his person. After the deed, the doctors who 
examined the victims were astounded to see Dhingra’s pulse 
beating normal, for he was no common killer. Great was the 
strength and noblest was the soul of Madanlal. Dhingra was 
then put into the Brixton Jail. And proceedings against 
Dhingra commenced. 

The incident shook London to its marrow ! Some unusual 
crowbar turned London upside down, as it were ! India was 
the subject in every British cottage, in every paper, in trains, 
in trams, at public squares and in markets, palaces and the 
British Parliament. The atmosphere became tense. Dhingra’s 
father wired to Lord Morley that he was ashamed to own 
Madanlal as his son. Even Dhingra’s brother in London 
publicly disowned him. Under the fiery eyes of the Britishers 
loyal Indians also trembled. Their holy tears overflowed. 
They assembled on the 5th of July in the famous Caxton Hall 
to condemn Dhingra. At the meeting Sir Mancherjee Bhow- 
nagari. Sir Aga Khan, Sir Surendranath Banerjee, Sri B. C. 
Pal and Sri Khaparde were loud in their denunciation. 
The meeting was attended by Maharajkumar of Coochbihar, 
Sir Dinshaw Petit, Fazalbhoy Karimbhoy, etc. Just then 
'Theodore Morrison, a member of the India Council, brought 
Madanlal’s brother on to the platform. MadanlaTs brother 
spoke sentences which were not his own. Sir Aga Khan, the 
chairman, then declared, “ The meeting unanimously condemns 
Madanlal Dhingra.” But a defying voice from the thickly 
crowded Hall roared, “ No, not unanimously.” 'The chairman 
angrily uttered : “ Who says no ? ” Out came the reply, “ I 
say no.” The chairman pursued, “ Your name please.” Upon 
this some lost their patience and shouted, “Pull him down, 
drive him out ! ” In a moment Sir Mancherjee Bhownagari 
jumped from the platform and ran in the direction of the 



voice. The challenging voice shot back : “ It is me. My name is 
Savarkar.” At this the audience trembled in their joints. 
They feared that revolutionaries would now bomb the meet- 
ing. Women shrieked, non-partisans took to their heels and 
partisans came from words to blows. The chicken-hearted 
shook beneath benches and chairs ! In the heat of the passion 
a Eurasian swooped down upon Savarkar and struck him a 
blow on the forehead. Savarkar’s face was besmeared with 
blood. His clothes were dripping, his spectacles broken to 
pieces. “ With all this I say, I am against the resolution,” ho 
said standing as firm as a rock to maintain his opinion to the 
last drop of his blood. As he was saying this, Sri Tiruma- 
lacharya, who was standing by Savarkar, thrashed the head 
of the aggressor, one Mr. Palmer, and down went Palmer 
reeling. Sri Aiyer was about to shoot Palmer, but Savarkar 
winked at him and restrained him. 

In the meanwhile Sir Surendranath had left the hall protest- 
ing against the cowardly attack on Savairkar. Sir Aga Khan 
also did not like the rashness of Sir Mancherjee. At last at 
the instance of Sir Mancherjee the police interfered, but, seeing 
that the truth was on Savarkar’s side, they let him go. 
Savarkar also let the Eurasian go ! And the meeting ended. 

Tossing from side to side in his bed with a fold of wet cloth 
on his forehead, Savarkar at his residence dictated a letter the 
very night for the London Times. With its publication he 
silenced all the hostile criticism against him. His arguments 
were irrefutable when he stated that, as the case of Dhingra 
was sub judice, the meeting had no right to usurp the powers 
of the court and condemn Madanlal in advance. Moreover, 
he had a right to record his vote ! Thus did the historic meet- 
ing test the stuff of the leader of revolution and his knowledge 
of law ! Here one thing may be made clear. Had the meeting 
at the Caxton Hall sympathised with Lady Curzon Wyllie in 
her bereavement and done nothing else, Savarkar would have 
also sympathised with the poor lady. Savarkar was a poet 
and philosopher full of human attributes. Niranjan Pal, who 
was present at the meeting, dwells upon this great trait in 
Savarkar and observes : “ The assassination of Sir Curzon 
Wyllie remixids me of another great trait in Savarkar’s 
character, his humanity. An Indian student laughingly 


described how Lady Ciirzon Wyllie ran down the staircase and 
threw herself on the body of her husband. All this was too 
much for Savarkar. ‘ A wife sobs her heart out for her 
husband and you laugh at it ! I do not trust you — can- 
not ! ’ Savarkar had replied in burning indignation. It was 
a prophetic statement for, the very man secured the King’s 
pardon by giving evidence against Savarkar.” ^ 

When preliminary hearing of the Dhingra trial com- 
menced on July 10, at the Westminster Court, despite the evil 
advice to feign madness, Dhingra boldly asserted that he 
wished that the English Court of Law should sentence him to 
death, for in that case the vengeance of his countrymen would 
be all the keener. He further said ; “ Just as the Germans 
have no right to occupy this country, so the English people 
have no right to occupy India ; and it is perfectly justifiable 
on our part to kill the Englishman who is polluting our sacred 
land. I am surprised at the terrible hypocrisy, the farce and 
the mockery of the English people.” Dhingra made this 
ex tempore statement as the written statement found on liis 
person at the time of his arrest was suppressed by the police 
who said that no such statement was recovered at all. Dhingra 
was then committed to Sessions. 

In India also there were sky-high denimciations of the deed 
of Madanlal. N. C. Kelkar, at one such protest meeting, asked 
his audience to uproot the doctrine of violence. He said it 
was a poisonous tree which must not be allowed to grow, even 
in neglected comers. Kelkar was indeed a man of elastic 
convictions. Afterwards, while writing the life of Garibaldi, 
he openly glorified the sacrifice of revolutionaries as the 
fertilizer of the nation ! Gokhale went one step further than 
Kelkar. He denoimced the whole London group of about 
fifty revolutionaries and insinuated that their activities would 
not stop imless Savarkar was arrested. 

Dhingra’s Sessions trial was a formal affair. There, too, he 
repeated his demand that his statement suppressed by the 
police should be read, and offered no other defence. But the 
police persisted in their assxuned ignorance of the statement as 
in the lower Court. The Court thereupon sentenced Dhingra 
to death and the trial ended. 

^ Niranjan Pal, The Mahratta, dated 27-5-1938. 



Newspapers now directly attacked Savarkar as the source 
of the tragedy. In India his relations and colleagues were 
persecuted. Some lost their jobs, some their property and his 
father-in-law heroically faced sufferings. Harsh measures 
were adopted to crush the Indian students. Pandit 
Shyamji’s Scholarship money for Spencer Lectureship was 
returned. The Pandit and Virendranath Chattopadhyaya lost 
their degrees as a result of their writings and propaganda. 
Though Savarkar passed the final examination of the Gray’s 
Inn, the Benchers of his Inn declined to confer the degree 
upon him. Thereupon Savarkar made an appeal to the autho- 
rities of the Gray’s Iim. They appointed a Committee to 
inquire into the affair. That Committee instituted an inquiry 
into the matter. Match as Savarkar was for the legal brains 
on the Committee and their cross-examination, nothing was 
proved against him though this Committee was aided by the 
Government of India. At last the Committee of the Gray’s Inn 
decided to confer the degree upon Savarkar provided he gave 
them a written undertaking that he would never participate 
in politics. Savarkar rejected their offer in toto ! Getting 
the degree was not his aim. His sole aim was to free his 
country and make it great and powerful. This barrister was 
not meant for conducting petty cases and amass wealth. He 
was the nation’s barrister. He was destined to study the case 
of his Fatherland and put it before the world opinion as did 
Mazzini and Lenin. Hindusthan knows how from the sun- 
shine of his youth to the golden evening of his life, he has 
been a loyal barrister all along defending and fighting for the 
absolute political Independence of India, her integrity and her 

Savarkar was now on the verge of physical collapse. For 
the last four years he had worked with a phenomenal energy. 
Persecution reached its climax. A yell of wrath fell on him 
from all quarters. As the India House was closed down just a 
few days before the Curzon Wyllie incident, Savarkar then 
resided for some days with Sri B. C. Pal. On the next day of 
Wyllie’s death angry crowds stormed Pal’s residence. Elder Pal 
told the mob that Savarkar was his guest and averted further 
consequences. Savarkar, however, thought it wise to leave 
his residence for their and his safety. Homeless, friendless, 


starving, stranded and shadowed by CJ.D., he wandered 
from lodge to lodge and house to house for shelter. But who 
shelters a defeated Guru Govind Singh ? Was not the 
defeated Tatya Tope betrayed ? And so in a single day 
Savarkar had to quit two lodgings. From one of these he was 
ousted even at midnight ! The C.I.D. men followed his 
shadow. No sleep, no rest, no food ! At last a German land- 
lady accepted him as a boarder for some days. 

Fatigued and fagged out, Savarkar soon went to Brighton, 
a seaside English town, for a change. It was here sitting by 
the side of Niranjan Pal on the beach that in overwhelming 
emotions filled with helplessness and hopelessness in a foreign 
land, the deserted youth sobbed his glorious moving poem 
“ Take me O Ocean ! Take me to my native shores. Tliou 
promised me to take me home. But thee coward, afraid of 
thy mighty master, Britain, thou hast betrayed me. But mind 
my mother is not altogether helpless. She will complain to 
sage Agasti and in a draught he will swallow thee as he did 
in the past.” Several front rank poets and first-rate literary men 
of Maharashtra have regarded this poem as an unparalleled 
poem on patriotism. Foremost amongst them is the chief 
disciple of Gandhiji, Acharya Kaka Kalelkar, who described 
it as an inscription on the Marathi language.^ Acharya Atre, 
a front rank playwright and journalist, recently commented 
in his address at a literary Conference at Indore that every 
lofty idea in this pathetic song represented a specimen of great 
life and great poetry ! Thirty years after, describing the mov- 
ing incident at Brighton, Niranjan Pal remarked : “It has 
been my supreme good fortune to have met and known almost 
all the great patriots and personalities of modern India, but 
I have yet to know of a patriot who loved his Motherland as 
dearly as Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.” " 

Even at Brighton Savarkar had an urgent feat to accom- 
plish. It was the publication of Dhingra’s suppressed state- 
ment before he was hanged. Savarkar, therefore, called his 
comrade, Gyanchand Varma, to Brighton and arranged for 
giving publicity to Dhingra’s written statement which had 
been suppressed by the police. Two days gone, and Dhingra 

1 Kaka Kalelkar. The Pratibha. dated 15-1-1936. 

-Niranjal Pal, The Mahratta. dated 27-5-1938. 


would jcm eternity. Savarkar, therefore, resolved that 
Dhingra must see the statement published. Accordingly 
Savarkar got the copies of Dhingra’s statement printed and 
Varma posted them from Paris to different American and 
Irish' papers. It was difficult to find an English paper to 
publish the statement. But an Irishman working as an 
assistant editor on the Daily News undertook the job and 
inserted it in his paper during the night shift. The statement 
then exploded on the morning of the 16th August throughout 
London as a bombshell ! The C.I.D. and police officers were 
sure it would never be published. It was in their possession. 
But they were outwitted and the statement entitled “ Chal- 
lenge ” flashed throughout the world. The statement of 
Dhingra read as below : 

“ I admit, the other day, I attempted to shed English blood 
as an humble revenge for the unhuman hangings and depor- 
tations of patriotic Indian youths. ... I believe that a nation 
held in bondage with the help of foreign bayonets is in a per- 
petual state of war. Since open battle is rendered impossible 
to a disarmed race, I attacked by surprise ; since guns were 
denied to me, I drew forth my pistol and fired.” The state- 
ment proceeds : “ As a Hindu, I feel that a wrong done to my 
country is an insult to God.” It concluded : “ The war of 
independence will continue between India and England so 
long as the English and Hindu races last (if this present un- 
natural relation does not cease).” 

This was the statement which Dhingra said he did not 
remember fully and a copy of which the police had secured 
at Dhingra’s residence and another on his person. They had 
no idea that there were more copies in existence. How could 
Savarkar get a third copy and send it with Varma for being 
circulated and published all over the world ? Some papers 
like the London Times openly spoke out their ininds by saying 
that someone must have put these words into Dhingra’s 
mouth ! It was clear beyond doubt that the author of the 
statement was the leader himself ! 

Savarkar saw Dhingra in the Brixton Jail on July 22. He 
said to Madanlal, “ I have come to have your Darshan.’* On 
hearing the tribute to his sacrifice, glee played over his face 
and grateful tears appeared in his eyes. Dhingra’s last wish 


was that be shoiild be burnt in conformity with Hindu rites, 
that no non-Hindu should touch his body, that his clothes and 
articles should be sold and the money should be donated to 
the National Fund ! Is death more fearless than Madanlal ? 
How many such peerless jewels has a slave coimtry to dedicate 
for propitiating the Goddess of Freedom ? 

Delighted at the frustration of the police plan, Dhingra 
embraced gallows on August 17, 1909. His last words as 
explained in the statement were, “ My wish is that I should 
be bom again of the same Mother and that I should die the 
same death for her again.” His dead body was not handed 
over to the London Hindus. Still Varma performed the funeral 
obsequies and got his head tonsmed according to Hindu rites 
in honour of the great soul ! Long live Dhingra for the 
intense love of his coxmtry ! They never die who fall in a 
great cause ! He fell with faith in his mission and in the 
destiny of his countrymen and love for his Motherland. 

Dhingra’s deed thrilled the entire world. Huge placards 
from Irish papers paid glowing tributes to Dhingra : '* Ireland 
honours Madanlal Dhingra who was proud to lay down his 
life for the sake of his country.” Only men like Pandit 
Jawaharlal Nehru, however, who were then in London 
seemed to be unconcerned with the momentous deed. Later 
in life he has ‘ observed Gandhian Monday ’ over this thrilling 
episode even in his ‘ Autobiography 

The storm raised by Dhingra did not immediately subside. 
Comments continued for a long time. 

Mr. W. S. Blunt, author of Secret History oj the English 
Occupation of Egypt, wrote about his interview with Mr. Lyne 
Stevens, the Doctor Royal friend. Blunt says : “ He talked 
about the Dhingra assassination, which seems to have at last 
convinced his Royal friends that there is something wrong 
about the state of India. People talk about political assassi- 
nations as defeating its own end, but that is nonsense, it is 
just the shock needed to convince selfish rulers that selfish- 
ness has its limits of imprudence. It is like that other fiction 
that England never 3delds to threats. My experience is that 
when England has her face well slapped she apologises, not 
before.” ^ Blunt further wrote in his Diaries that no Christian 

^ W. S. Blunt, My Diaries, Part II p. 276. 


marlyr ever faced his judges more fearlesdy or with greater 
dignity and remarked that the day of Dhingra’s execution 
would be regarded as one of martyrdom in India for 

Lloyd George expressed to Winston Churchill his highest 
admiration of Dhingra’s attitude as a patriot. Chiuchill shared 
the same views and quoted with admiration Dhingra’s last 
words as the finest ever made in the name of patriotism. 
They compared Dhingra with Plutarch’s immortal heroes.* 
Lala Hardayal wrote in the first issue of the Bande Mataram, 
started by Madame Cama ; “ In times to come, when the 
British Empire in India shall have been reduced to dust and 
ashes, Dhingra’s monuments will adorn the squares of otu: 
chief towns, recalling to the memory of our children the noble 
life and noble death of one who laid down his life in a far-off 
land for the cause he loved so well.” 

And what kind of Swaraj was Dhingra’s ideal for which 
he sacrificed his life ? The Abhinava Bharat unequivocally 
proclaimed times without number its ideal of Swaraj in these 
words : “ India must be independent ; India must be united ; 
India must be a republic ; India must have a common 
language, and a common script. That script is Nagari, that 
language is Hindi. That Repubhc is that national form of 
Government in which the sovereign power — whether it be 
exercised by a Monarch or by a President, matters not much 
— crests ultimately and uncompromisingly in the hands of the 
Indian people.” ® The leader of Abhinava Bharat always 
repeated : “ Before you destroy anything you must know 
what you are going to construct in its place.” He had fully 
dwelt on the constitutional problem in his speeches and writ- 
ings. His study in political science and constitutional law was 
far advanced. 

In his famous leaflet addressed to the Indian Princes under 
the title, ‘ Choose O Indian Princes ! ’ he states : “ Whether 
the head of the Imperial Government of the Indian Nation 
be a President or a King depends upon how the revolution 
develops itself. . . . The Mother must be free, must be one and 

1 W. S. Blunt, My Diaries, Part JI, p. 288. 

3 Ibid., p. 288. 

® Chitra Gupta, Life of Barrister Savarkar, p. 68. 


United, must make her will supreme.” The leaflet voices a 
Warning to the Princes that the newly bom nation would call 
them to accoimt for their deeds and misdeeds and swearing 
by the blood of Dhingra, it thunders : “ Choose whether you 
shall be the first of the nation’s fathers or the last of the 
nation’s tyrants.” And the leaflet concludes with a threat : 
“When the mightiest of empires is trembling at the very 
birth-pangs of this revolution, you, weak as you are, cannot 
hinder its onward march or smother its birth any more than 
you can change the force of gravitation or the rotundity of 
the earth.” ^ , 

It was a year before this momentous period that the leader 
of the Abhinava Bharat had tried to contact the Prime 
Minister of Nepal, then in London, and had appealed to him 
in a letter written in Dhingra’s blood to play the Victor 
Emmanuel. Next day the representative of the Prime 
Minister sent his message to the representative of the Abhi- 
nava Bharat that “ God’s will shall prevail ! ” 


In Savarkar one finds the unique combination of the bravery 
of Arjun and the poetry of Vyas. His pen was as powerful 
as his tongue. He was the leader of a revolutionary move- 
ment and a great literary power as well. He wielded both 
pen and pistol with equal command. Scarcely did a leader of 
any other revolutionary movement strike terror into the 
hearts of his enemies with his pen and pistol as he did. It 
is no wonder that his writings and ballads impressed effec- 
tively his personality on the Indian Revolution and inspired 
soldiers and patriots to fight the cause of freedom — from Rajaji 
to Roy, from Hardayal to Bhagat Singh, from Rajan to Kher, 
from Kanhere to Gogate and from the Ghadr to the I.N.A. ! 

It will, therefore, be appropriate to narrate the history of 
his inspiring books and writings at this jimctime. During the 
first six months of his London life, Savarkar translated the 
autobiography of Mazzini into Marathi. This was the first 
book to enjoy an uncommon popularity in Maharashtra. It 
was so dearly loved that leading papers and leading men in 

1 Quoted in S. L. Karandikar’s Savarkar-Charitra, pp. 317-18. 


Maharashtra extolled it to the skies and it was taken out- in 
procession by young and old devotees. Even Sir Valentine 
Chirol described this book as the Nationalist Textbook.^ 
Savarkar’s Mazzini natxirally was the first victim of the Indian 
Press Act. The book was mostly loved for the introduction 
of the Indian Mazzini, expounding the great mission of the 
Italian patriot. The fiery propaganda and the burning 
patriotism of this immortal introduction captivated the minds 
of the people so much that, though it was suppressed by the 
Government, patriotic youths learnt it by heart and repeated 
the twenty-five pages c>f its inspiring introduction word by 
word ! The book was restored in 1946 after having suffered 
proscription for forty years. 

The Sikh front also absorbed Savarkar’s mind. He learnt 
Gurumukhi, read all the religious and important original 
writings such as the Acli Granth, the Panth Prakash, the Surya 
Prakash, Vichitra Natak by the Gurus and other works on 
Sikhism, and issued many pamphlets. His pamphlet, named 
“ Khalsa ” and many others issued in Gurumukhi rained into 
the hands of Sikh soldiers, making them conscious of their 
duty and of the coming storm, and educating them for the 
cause of Freedom. This did not escape the notice of the Gov- 
ernment of India. 

Savarkar was a great pamphleteer. His brilliant leaflet ‘ O 
Martyrs’ stirred the sleeping embers of patriotism in the 
hearts of both soldiers and patriots. He wrote in a moving 
tone : “ For the war of 1857 shall not cease till the revolution 
arrives, striking slavery into dust, elevating liberty to the 
throne. . . . No, a revolutionary war knows no truce, save 
liberty or death ! . . . But, O glorious Martyrs, in this pious 
struggle of your sons, help ! . . . Whisper unto us the nobility 
of such an alliance of Religion and Patriotism, the true religion 
which is ever on the side of patriotism, the true patriotism 
which secures the freedom of religion ! . . . With limited 
means you sustained a war, not against tyranny alone, but 
against tyranny and treachery together.” - 

After describing the noble war of Italian Independence in 
Etirope, Savarkar invoked the warriors of 1857 to deliver his 

* Sir Valentine Chirol, Indian Unrest, p. 146. 

2 Quoted in S. L. Karandikar’s Savarkar-Charitra, pp. 213-15. 


message through their own mighty words and mighty deeds. 
His aim in writing his book on 1857 was to in^ire his people 
with a biuning desire to rise again and wage a second success- 
ful war for the liberation of their Motherland. For achieving 
that goal, he always stressed the need for carrying politics and 
patriotism into the military forces of India. 

Savarkar read at the India House heaps of original letters, 
numerous documents and several hxmdred books and all 
important references in the British Museum regarding 1857. 
He also read Rajanikant’s Sepoys^ Mutiny in the Bengali 
language. After incessant study and industry, he wrote in 
Marathi his famous work. The First Indian War oj Indepen- 
dence of 1857. The manuscript came to India and went back 
to Paris, for no press dared publish it in India. The C.I.D. 
carried simultaneous surprise raids on several printing 
houses in Maharashtra for the manuscript, but failed. As the 
publication of his book in Marathi became difficult, some 
brilliant members of the Abhinava Bharat in London trans- 
lated the manuscript into English. The agents of Scotland 
Yard succeeded in smuggling away through their agent a 
chapter of the original manuscript and thus the British and 
Indian Governments came to know of the coming book. The 
British C.I.D. .slyly described the book as revolutionary, 
explosive and seditious. The two Governments were so much 
terror-stricken and became so much nervous that they 
proscribed the book hurriedly which they admitted Wcis not 
even published ! This book of Savarkar was the first book 
of its kind in the treasury of world literature that was pro- 
scribed before it saw the light of day ! Unique honour to the 
author who stands unparalleled in this respect in the domain 
of the literary world. Savarkar took up the challenge and 
held the two Governments to caustic ridicule in the British, 
American and European Press ! Even some of the British 
papers resented the shameless attitude of their Government. 

There was after this a hot pursuit and intellectual fight 
for some time between Scotland Yard and the London Abhi- 
nava Bharat for preventing the publication on one side and 
accomplishing its publication on the other. At last Savarkar 
eluded the police and the C.I.D., and succeeded in getting the 


book printed in Holland in 1909, though the British C.I.D. 
Intervened in this afiair in France and Germany. 

Equally romantic was the history of its distribution and 
circulation ! The book reached India, America, Japan and 
China wrapped in specially printed covers bearing fictitious 
names such as ‘ Pickwick Papers ’ and ‘ Scott’s Works ’ and was 
sold at a fabulous price at times of Rs. 300 for a copy. English- 
men distributed copies of the book among their friends as a 
rare gift ! Mr. Mahomed Ali obtained it on loan from 
Sir Charles Cleveland ! European authors and historians 
read the work with great interest. The work became the talk 
of the world and since then it has gone through several 
editions in various languages. 

Echoes and effects of tlie great work were visible in 1914. 
It inspired the second war of Indian Independence in 1914. 
All the leaders of the Ghadr party who had launched the 
Komagatamaru RebeUion had read the book with a religious 
zeal, and had drawn undying inspiration from the work. More 
tremendously did it influence the third war of Independence 
imder the lead of Netaji Subhas Bose in 1943. The names of 
the battalions and divisions, songs and slogans, spirit and 
inspiration of the I.N.A. were derived from this holy book of 
Savarkar. Mr. K. F. Nariman wrote in “ The Savarkar 
Special ” of the Free Hindusthan Weekly, Bombay : “ The 

idea of the I.N.A. and particularly the Rani of Jhansi Regi- 
ment seems to have originated from Veer Savarkar’s proscrib- 
ed publication on the great 1857 Revolution and Mutiny.” 
Writing about it in the same number of the Free Hindvsthan, 
Sri G. V. Subbarao, editor of Goshti, Bezawada, said : “ If 

Savarkar had not intervened between 1857 and 1943, I am 
sure that the recent efforts of the I.N.A. would have been 
again dubbed as an ignoble mutiny effectively crushed by 
the valiant British-ciun-Congress arms and armlessness ! But 
thanks to Savarkar’s book, Indian sense of a * Mutiny ’ has 
been itself revolutionised. And not even Lord Wavell, I 
suppose, can now call the Bose effort a Mutiny ! The chief 
credit for this change of values must go to Savarkar and to 
him alone. And that is why I call him the sun of our Indian 
firmament.” In between these two wars of Independence the 
book has inspired innumerable martyrs and patriots who 


called it the Gita of the revolutionaries. Sardar Bhagat Singh 
published this Gita in India for funds and propaganda. It 
was also published in the German language in 1942 by the 
Friends of India Society in Germany. 

A great book is always bom of the brain and heart of a 
great author and its greatness depends on the personality 
which gives life to it. In this respect Savai'kar belongs to the 
line of Rousseau, Voltaire and Mazzini. They are master- 
minds. Their type forms a dififerent category. They are gi'eat 
precursors of the coming storm, proclaimers of a new age and 
originators of a revolution. To them literature is not a mere 
ornament or entertainment for court life. Their literature 
bums with a mission for making free citizens out of virtual 
slaves. Their books are more dangerous than bombs. Their 
books are as decisive as battles ! Rousseau’s Emile was burnt, 
princes and potentates quailed before Voltaire and the Gov- 
ernments of two countries suppressed Savarkar’s book even 
before it had been published ! Rousseau, Voltaire and 
Savarkar are not to be measured along with common authors ! 

This world-famous brilliant and moving work is a story of 
hvunan emotions, passions and aspirations. The sweep of the 
author’s narration is vivid and irresistible. The work reveals 
the author’s rare gift as a poet-historian in action. ’Writing 
about this book of Savarkeu", Sir Valentine Chirol in his 
Indian Unrest has commented that it is “ a very remarkable 
history of the Mutiny combining considerable research with 
the grossest pei-version of facts and great literary power with 
most savage hatred ! ” ^ Deduct Chirol’s venomous poison 
and the uncommon beauty and grandeur of the book will glow 
in its splendour ! That is why Sir Valentine Chirol in his 
India Old and Neto depicts Savarkar with a loving hatred : 

“ Savarkar, one of the most brilliant apostles of a later school 
of revolt.” ^ Reviewing the great work, Sri P. K. Atre, a 
typical Maharashtrian author and journalist opined that Maha- 
rashtra did not produce a greater genius than Savarkar ever 
since the great Dnyaneshwar. 

The book continued to be proscribed for thirty-eight years. 
Owing to the pressure of public opinion the Congress 

^Sir Valentine Chirol, Indian Unrest^ p. 149. 

*Sir Valentine Chirol, India New and Old, p. 85. 


Government released the book for publication when its mission 
was almost fulfilled. The romantic story of the book is not, 
however, yet complete. The original manuscript of this book 
was in those stormy days of its birth sent to safe custody. 
Mr. D. Y. Coutchino, a staxmch member of the Abhinava 
Bharat, escaped to Portugal during those hectic days with the 
manuscript through his influence at the Portuguese Embassy 
and thence to America. Facing great difficulties and dangers 
as an Indian revolutionary, he treasured it as a monumental 
document for over thirty-eight years in Washington where 
he is a professor in a college, and returned it to Savarkar 
after India became free and independent. India lost another 
great book by Savarkar. That is the History of the Sikhs 
which Savarkar had finished in 1909. The manuscript of the 
book was sent to India for publication but was gulped down 
by the Indian Post Office in the transmission. It will be a 
great deed of national importance, if the Government of India 
or the Bombay Government, whichever may be in charge of 
the book, restores the manuscript. The reason why Savarkar’s 
books were proscribed or gulped down was that Savarkar was 
to the British Government what Krishna was to Kaunsa or 
Shivaji to Aurangzeb. The Government’s one obsession was 
to crush ruthlessly whatever emanated from Savarkar’s brain. 
“ Savarkar ” had become synonymous with “ sedition ”. The 
British Government of India must have, however, found that 
the Ganges was Savarkar’s inspiration, martyr’s blood was 
his ink and bones of heroes were his pen ! The Ganges swept 
away the British-make dams, the ink reddened the pages of 
history and the pen immortalized the names of martyrs and 
patriots, and damned the traitors for ever ! 


After Dhingra’s martyrdom threats grew louder. Clouds 
hung heavier. Winds blew with a terrific speed. The storm 
was coming on. Due to over-exertion, Savarkar’s health was 
visibly impaired. Friends prevailed upon him to take rest in 
Paris where he was ultimately taken for a change sometime 
in January 1910. In Hindusthan his followers, comrades and 
relations were persecuted, prosecuted, executed or exiled into 


the darkest Andamans. His elder brother was sent^ced to 
transportation for life. His terrific transportation was avenged 
by a spirited and lion*hearted youth named Anant Elanhere. 
He shot dead Mr. A. M. T. Jackson, the then Collector of 
Nasik, in the Vijayanand theatre of Nasik. Kanhere died on 
the gallows with his two fearless comrades Deshpande and 
Karve on the last day of the year 1909. 

At this juncture an attempt was made on the life of the 
Viceroy, Lord Minto, at Ahmedabad where a bomb was 
thrown by someone from the revolutionary party. As a 
result of the proceedings arisen out of this, Savarkar’s younger 
brother Narayanrao Savarkar was arrested. All this news 
fell heavily on Savarkar. He now prepared himself to stand 
at the scene and save their persecution. Friends in Paris 
entreated him not to return to London as news had filtered 
into their ears that a warrant for his arrest was awaiting him 
in London. His friends said to him, “As a general, you 
must remain behind to lead. The danger is around you.” But 
“ No,” said Savarkar, “ I cannot see the persecution of my 
colleagues and followers. As a leader, I must face the music.” 
To preach with life and not with mere lips, Savarkar left 
Paris. He started to save his soul and lose his life. He loved 
the former better. He was made of the stuff of mart 5 rrs. And 
martyrdom can be a religion only with a few and not with the 
whole party. His decision was as courageous as Shivaji’s 
to go to Agra. And Shivaji started for Agra again ! 

It was Sunday, the 13th of March 1910. The train reached 
Victoria station, London. Here had come the much dreaded 
Savarkar at last, thought the London Police. The long 
accumulated fury burst on him. No sooner did he step out 
of the train than the policemen cried out : “ Here he is ! Here 
he is ! ” And they arrested him. Perinben Captain, who 
accompanied him, was let alone. The shadow of death was 
galloping after him. In the eyes of the policemen he read 
ruin. The day of his glory had come. The end also had 
come with a crash. But who knew then that his end was 
the beginning of the end of the British Empire ? 

Savarkar was arrested imder a telegraphic warrant from 
the Bombay Government under the Fugitive Offenders Act 
of 1881. The warrant was granted by the Bow Street Court 


on February 22, 1910. The charges against birn were as 
under : — 

(1) Waging Mrar or abetting the waging of war against His 
Majesty the King Emperor pf India ; 

(2) Conspiring to deprive His Majesty the King of the 
sovereignty of British India or a part of it ; 

(3) Procuring and distributing arms and abetting the 
murder of Jackson ; 

(4) Procvu-ing and distributing arms in London and waging 
war from London ; 

(5) Delivering seditious speeclies in India from January to 
March 1906 and in London from 1908 to 1909.” ^ 

An Empire’s laws and system of justice are always soiled 
by the blood of the martyrs. Savarkar went to England for 
study under a regular passport from the Indian Government 
and now he was arrested as a fugitive offender ! In 1910 he 
was arrested in England for the speeches he made in India 
in 1906 ! What a marvel this British process of law ! 

England has been the Mother of exiles. The knights-errant 
of hberty have foimd shelter in England. Here is an impres- 
sive roU-call : Mazzini, Marx, Garibaldi, Kossuth and Lenin. 
If Savarkar had been content to conceal his unbounded hatred 
of slavery and to pass as a reveller and degree-seeker, there 
would have been ample scope for his brilliant genius and 
flight of imagination. But no such pretension was possible 
for him. So the mother of exiles did not receive him well. 
The boast that England was the training ground for the 
patriots of the world was reduced to a farce. It was true only 
in the sense that England sheltered patriots only of those 
coimtries over which their Balance of Power politics hung. 
It was not a shelter for fearless freedom-loving Indian patriots 
whose coimtry’s fate England had sealed ! The British took 
Savarkar to be a Nanasahib sworn to overthrow their yoke, 
a Guru Govind Singh in disguise or a Shivaji ready to foster 
a rebeUion. So his life was a peril to the imperialists ! 

Gallows now stared Savarkar in the face. A terrible 
vengeance was let loose on his followers. These ardent 
patriots said they had come out to set their cotmtry free. And 

* Guy A. Aldred, The Herald of Revolt, October 1912. 



their leader in a befitting manner stood up at the peril of his 
life to practise what he preached. 

After the arrest Savarkar was taken into Bow Street Police 
custody. He was now certain about the terrible fate that 
would befall his family. In order to soften the severe blow 
he wrote his last will and testament and sent it through his 
solicitors to his noble sister-in-law, Shrimati Yashodabai, 
Babarao’s wife, whom he had no chance to meet this side of 
the grave. The testament represents the enormous stress of 
emotion under which he was reeling. His family was plunged 
in an irretrievable sorrow. His little son had just passed 
away ! The eldest brother Babarao was sentenced to trans- 
portation for life, the younger brother was in jail and he him- 
self in the Brixton jail. So liis memory to the family was 
fragrant. His glorious promise and the sudden separation 
became the theme of their sorrow. This touched him to the 
core. He expounded in his poetic will the noble and sublime 
ideal for which the family had fallen. He reminded liis 
sister ; — 

“We will work and die in defence of Righteousness ; 
thus had we pledged our words. Behold, the test has 
come, we enter the flames. We have kept our word. . . . 
We dedicated to Thee (Motherland) our thoughts ; our 
speech and our eloquence we dedicated to Thee, O 
Mother ! My lyre sang of Thee alone, my pen wrote of 
Thee alone. . . . Thy cause is holy ! Thy cause I believed 
to be the cause of God ! and in serving it I knew I served 
the Lord ! . . . These are thy ideals ! Thou art hero’s 
better half ! be thy life as supremely heroic. . . . Good- 
bye, dear Vahini, Good-bye. . . . Convey my best love to 
my wife and this : — 

That it was certainly not blindness that goaded us on 
to this path ! No ! we entered it under the full blaze of 
the searching light of Logic, History and Human Nature : 
knowing full well that a Pilgrim’s Progress leads through 
the valley of Death, we took up our Cross and deliberately 
followed Him,” 

Savarkar was produced at the Bow Street Police Court on 
March 14, 1910. After some postponements, on April 20, the 


Magistrate refused to release him on baiL Upon this Savarkar 
was transferred from Bow Street Police Custody to Brixton 
jail, wherein he had a famous friend. There an Englishman 
by name Guy A. Aldred was also undergoing imprisonment 
for having published Shyamji Krishna Varma’s fiery paper, 
Indian Sociologist, suppressed by the British Government. 
Aldred was the first Briton to suffer imprisonment for the 
cause of India’s freedom ! Strangely enough, he had appeared 
in the same dock, in the same court, before the same 
Magistrate and had faced the same Chief Inspector of Police, 
Mr. McArthy, and Mr. S. A. T. Rowlatt, Junior Counsel to the 
Treasury, who later achieved notoriety in India. Savarkar’s 
comrades saw him in the Brixton jail. Writing about his last 
meeting with Savarkar in Brixton jail, Niranjan Pal states : 
“ I asked Savarkar why he ignored our warnings and pleadings 
and left Paris knowing full well that a former comrade had 
turned an approver and a warrant for his arrest was awaiting 
in London.” Pal adds ; “ Therefore, had Savarkar wished 
it, he could easily have remained in safety and comfort in 
the French Capital as other Indian revolutionists were doing 
in those days. Instead he came to London to be arrested, 
because, he told me, standing behind the iron-bars of Brixton 
Prison, his shoulders were broad enough to bear the conse- 
quences. He had the courage of his conviction.” ^ 

On May 12 the Magistrate gave his decision that Savarkar 
should be sent to India for trial. Mr. Vaughan, counsel for 
Savarkar made an application for a writ of Habeas Corpus. 
The appeal made against the decision of the Bow Street Court 
and this Habeas Corpus application were discussed on June 
2 and 3 before the Divisional Court. The Chief Justice upheld 
the decision of the Bow Street Court. Once again an appeal 
was made against this decision to the Coiut of Appeal. But 
the Chief Justice Vaughan Williams upheld the decision of the 
Divisional Court and sympathetically handed Savarkar over 
to the Indian Government which imder a special ordinance 
had created a Special Tribunal in India for Savarkar’s trial. 
Mr. Justice Coleridge dissented from sending Savarkar to 
India but his decision was waived as a minority view. 

1 Niranjan Pal, The Mahratta, dated 27-5-1938. 


In the meanwhile, somewhere in May 1910 Irish and Indian 
revolutionaries also attempted at rescuing Savarkar while he 
was an imdertrial prisoner. They lay in ambush awaiting 
the police van which carried the illustrious prisoner to the 
Court and back to the Prison. But it seems that the plan 
leaked out and the police van which they waylaid turned out 
to be a vacant one ! For Savarkar had been taken by a 
different route. Savarkar’s other comrades also struggled 
heroically for his release. Someone had thought out a plan 
of impersonating Savarkar in his cell, but failed. They paid 
their loyal homage to their leader. Savarkar was now on the 
eve of being extradited to India. Therefore he thought it his 
loving duty to bid farewell to his comrades in England and on 
the Continent. This farewell is a masterpiece of patriotism, 
humanism and duty ! It is an illustration of great poetry, 
great ideas, great vision and great life ! It is as follows : — 

The Farewell 

“ Whose heart to heai t by silken ties is knit 
Of friendship sweet, that sweeter grows by far, 
Partaking of Godly Sacrament of Mother’s creed divine : 
Oh friends ! Farewell ! as tender and fresh 
As the morning dew that wakes the fragrance 
Friends adieu ! adieu ! ! 

God-appointed Duty 

We part to play our God-appointed parts 
Now pent and nailed to burning Rocks, now tossed 
On surging waves of Fame ; now seen now lost 
Or humble or exalted — ^wherever posted by the Lord 
Of Hosts, yet posted best, as if alone it was 
The mission of our life thus there to act. 

Historic Stage 

As in some oriental play sublime. 

All characters, the dead as well as living 
In Epilogue they meet 

Thus actors we innumerable all once more shall meet 



On History’s copious stage before the great 
Applauding audience of Hmnanity 
That would with grateful cheer fill hill and dale 
Till then Oh loving friends, Farewell ! Farewell ! 

Humaotty to Guide 

Wherever may my humble ashes lie 
In the Andaman’s sad brook whose weeping course 
Add to its dreariness a tongue or stored by Ganga’s 
Sacred crystal stream in which the stars 
Their midnight measures dance — 

They will be stirred with fire and glow 
When Victory’s trumpet, blasts proclaiming 
‘ Shree Ram has crowned his chosen people’s brow 
With laurels golden green ! The evil spirit is cast 
Away and chased back to the deep from whence 
It first arose ! and Lo ! She lordly stands, 

Our Mother Ind, a beacon light Humanity to guide. 
Oh martyred saints and soldiers, do awake ! 

The battle is won which you fought and fell !! 

Till then Oh loving friends, farewell ! farewell ! 

Sacrifice a Law 

Watch sleeplessly the progress of our mother 
And learn to count it, not by so much work 
Done or tried, but by how much they suffered. 

What sacrifice our people could sustain ! 

For work is chance but sacrifice a law ; 

Foundation firm to rear a mighty Dome 
Of Kingdoms new and great ! 

But only great if their roots be in martyr’s ashes laid 
Thus work for Mother’s glory till God’s breath 
Be rendered back, the Godly mission done — 

A martyr’s wreath or victor’s crown be won ! ! ” ^ 

The British Government thus gave a sigh of relief, like the 
ferocious Aurangzeb, at having trapped Shivaji at last ; and 
they shipped him off. 

1 Savarkar, An Echo from Andamans. 


Epic Escape and World-Famous 



On the first day of July 1910, the steamer s.s, morea convey- 
ing Savarkar to India started on her historic voyage from 
London ! Proud like a kite, she held her prey in the clutches. 
She tossed on. But woe followed the waves. The book of 
fate was signed and sealed by destiny ! There was some 
engine trouble and the morea required repairs in the neigh- 
bourhood of the port of Marseilles. So she anchored at 
Marseilles on Thursday evening, July 7, 1910. On June 29 
the British Government had informed the French Govern- 
ment that the morea was bound for India with a political 
prisoner, and requested the French Government to watch the 
steamer, if she anchored at Marseilles, and to guard against 
any possible attempt of Savarkar’s rescue by the Indian 
revolutionaries on the Continent. Mr. Parkar, the C.I.D. 
officer from London and Mr. Power, Assistant Superintendent 
of Police from Bombay, were in charge of the illustrious 

Though tied to a sacrificial post, Savarkar talked freely, 
during the course of the journey, to the amazement of the 
passengers. Inwardly he was revolving the idea of escape. 
He had thrown a measuring eye at the port-holes. The 
halt at Marseilles put his heart in a flutter. Had his message 
to the comrades on the Continent reached them through 
Aiyer ? Would they come to his rescue ? Night was coming 
on. His expectations now darkened into anxieties. All night 
long restlessness tortured him and doubts assailed him. Dawn 
broke. His thoughts now galloped. Mother Ind seemed to 
whisper to her darling son : “ Flee ! flee ! the time is not 

gone ! Oh ! my son ! I would not see your neck in the rope ! 
Did you forget that my great son Krishna ran away when 
persecuted by the tyrant Jarasandha ? Don’t you remember 



the historic escape of my Shivaji from Agra ? Wotild you 
not learn ansrthing from the daring escape of Napolecm from 
Elba ? Flee ! flee ! your flight will bring to light the heroic 
endeavours of my sons to shatter my fetters. You are not a 
mouse to be easily trapped. You are the President of a 
revolutionary party. Flee, for my sake, flee ! Now or never ! ” 

An inspired ray appeared in Savarkar’s eyes. He collected 
himself. His heart throbbed with the thought of swift escape. 
His face lit with a fire of decision. Yes, he was a lion, and he 
would not die the death of a mouse. He resolved to venture. 
He stood up ! It was now morning. Both the officers in 
charge were asleep. He asked the guard on watch to take 
him to the water closet. The guard woke up his companion. 
Savarkar bit his lips ! Both accompanied him. And Savarkar 
had to play a ruse. He asked one of the guards to fetch some 
article left behind. He went. Savarkar entered the water 
closet and bolted it from within. The guard was rather in- 
attentive. There was a glass pane fitted in the door of the 
water closet. This was a special arrangement for watching 
the man inside. 

There was no time to lose. Savarkar’s actions were more 
rapid than his thoughts. He took off his night gown which 
he had purposely put on and threv/ it over the glass pane of 
the water closet. Then in the twinkling of an eye, he jiunped 
up, squeezed himself out of the porthole at the top of the 
water closet, and murmiuring ‘ Hail ! thee, Goddess of 
Liberty ! ’ jumped into the sea. The guard caught sight of 
him. “ He is off ! ” shouted the guard. There was a din on 
the steamer. The guards opened fire at the escaping prisoner. 
Savarkar heard bullets whizzing by. This was the time to 
put to test his hard-won skill in swimming cind climbing. The 
glorious son of Hindusthan now dived, now swam through the 
shower of bullets, reached the steep end of the harbour of 
Marseilles, and climbed the quay. Once he fell down, like 
the lizard before Brutus, in his attempt at climbing the quay. 
The second time he succeeded and ran off. The pursuing 
marine gendarmes who had jumped after him covild not catch 
him. He was free, legally, mentally and bodily ! He had 
scored a triumph, and held the British Government to ridicule. 
Britannia might be once ruling the waves, but she could not 


rulte the waves that carried Savarkar to the shore of France ; 
nor could she rule the waves created by Savarkar, which 
tinned the ship of his Motherland from slavery to Swaraj I 

The pursuers were in hot chase. Savarkar ran excitedly 
for about five hundred yards from the harbour. He saw trams 
running, policemen on duty. He wanted to hire a cab. But 
he had no money. His freedom for a coin ! So he asked a 
policeman on duty in broken French to take him to the 
nearest Magistrate, but the policeman did not pay attention 
to him. The pursuers who had now overtaken him all the while 
crying out “ Thief ! Catch him ! ” greased the palm of the 
policeman, and with his connivance dra gg ed Savarkar to the 
steamer. It was clearly a breach of International Law. The 
British guards had arrested Savarkar on a foreign land ! 

It was fated that Savarkar’s colleagues, Madame Cama and 
Aiyer, who had planned his rescue, should be late by a few 
hours. They were driving post-haste towards the harbour. 
They reached the scene to hear the crowds gossiping with 
their eyes and lingers towards the steamer. They must have 
cursed themselves. All day long the whole of Marseilles was 
agog ! Crowds flocked towards the harbour. And mortified 
at the disgrace, the morea set sail early next morning. 

The news of Savarkar’s thrilling escape on July 8, 1910, 
crossed the oceans. India’s cry for freedom filled the skies, 
and Mother Ind’s heart-rending bewailings .stirred the world. 
India was discussed for the first time in foreign countries. 
Hindu manhood glowed in resplendent glory and opened the 
eyes of foreign institutions which doubted the virility and 
valoiu: of India. The entire European Press published the 
Hindu hero’s life as best as it could and compared him with 
Mazzini, Garibaldi and Kossuth, and stamped him as a mart 3 a'. 
Daring and devoted nation-builders like Shivaji, Napoleon, 
Churchill in 1916, De Valera in 1918 and Subhas Bose in 
1941 performed miraculous escapes, but Savarkar’s escape was 
the most heroic and thrilling the world ever witnessed ! It is 
an epic and unique example of ‘ propaganda by deed.’ 

Eiuraged at their discomfiture and filled with fear of 
degradation in service, the officers in chimge, once back on the 
MOREA with their charge, began to use foul, filthy and violent 
language about Savarkar. They even threatened him with 


torture at nightfall ! One of them exclaimed, “ What a breed 
these Savarkars are ! ” Savarkar rebuked the boiling guards 
and officer sternly. He had watched one officer keeping a 
loaded revolver in his trousers just over his head. Sure 
of that support at hand, Savarkar struck them dumb with 
these words : “ Look here, you are taking me to the gallows. 
It is quite natural that I should try my best to escape. If you 
want to live by the side of your wife and children, take care 
not to insult or touch me. For I have already set fire to my 
home and will not fail to vindicate my self-respect and safety 
by all means. Be then prepared for the eventualities.” The 
guards understood the gravity of the situation and kept mum ! 
At Aden the s.s. sasti took charge of morea passengers and 
post. The guards huddled Savarkar into a tiny cabin, only 
a space of four feet was allowed to him to stand, move and 
walk ! Sunlight became a luxury for him. Hand-cuffed and 
closely tied to each guard by turns on one side, stiffled by 
excessive heat and crushed by a colossal disappointment on 
the other, Savarkar had to stand a tide of tense feelings for 
throwing away life at once ! But he overcame the feelings 
and survived. 

Savarkar’s failure at Marseilles was, however, glorious. A 
noble failure serves the world no less than a crowning success. 
And crushing failures have often in them the germs of a 
glorious future. Our greatest glory, says Goldsmith, consists 
not in never fcdling, but in rising every time we fall. 


The s.s. SASTI reached Bombay without any mishap. On 
July 22, 1910, the prince of Indian revolutionaries was receiv- 
ed at the Bombay Harbour in a befitting manner. Hand- 
cuffed, he was marched through rows of drawn swords. A 
close motor-van transferred him to a closed special train which 
delivered him to the Nasik Police custody. Few days later, 
he was brought to the Yeravada Jail. Mr. Joseph Baptista, 
his counsel, interviewed him on September 13, 1910, at the 
instance of Madame Cama. Mr. Baptista had already receiv- 
ed the papers of the case from Mr. Vaughan, Savarkar’s 
London solicitor. 


Under a Special Tribunal Act a Special Tribunal was 
appointed to try the case without a jury or a right of appeal. 
The tribunal was composed of the Chief Justice of Bombay, 
Sir Basil Scott, Sir N. G. Chandavarkar and Mr. Justice 
Heaton. The Counsels for the prosecution were an imposing 
array. Mr. Jardine, the Advocate-General, Bombay, Mr. 
Weldon, Sri Welinkar and Mr. Nicolson, the Public 
Prosecutor. The defence consisted of legal luminaries like 
Mr. Joseph Baptista, Sri Chitre, Sri Govindrao Gadgil and 
Sri Rangnekar. Three trials were to be heard by the 
Tribunal. The first trial involved thirty-eight accused 
including Savarkar, the second involved Savarkar and 
Gopalrao Patankar, both co-accused in the first and the second 
trials. In the third, Savarkar was alone ! All were to be 
tried under eight different charges. Kashinath Ankushkar, 
Dattatray Joshi, W. R. Kulkami and Chaturbhuj, the cook of 
the India House with whom Savarkar was alleged to have 
sent twenty Browning pistols to India, were the approvers. 

Savarkar was transferred from the Yeravada Jail to the 
Dongri Jail in Bombay to stand his trial. The trial opened 
on September 15, 1910. A Special party of fifty armed police 
guarded the High Court. The Police Commissioner of Bombay 
personally supervised the police arrangements in the Court. 
Only few representatives of newspapers were permitted into 
the Court. Savarkar was brought to the Court in a closed 
van under an armed escort. As soon as he stepped into the 
dock, he heard the sound of clapping ! It was a stark 
surprise. He looked at the empty galleries and saw vacant 
benches. He saw nobody there. Who welcomed him then ? 
They were his co-accused in the dock down below. They gave 
a spontaneous ovation to their leader of international fame ! 
A unique reception and homage in the political history of the 
world by those who stood on the threshold of death to a leader 
who awaited the same fate ! To the pleasant surprise of his 
comrades, he recognised after a few moments’ guess his 
brother, Narayanrao, in the dock, now grown into a fine youth. 
The trial opened like a great thrilling drama. Savarkar’s 
thrilling escape at Marseilles had rivetted the attention of the 
world on the Nasik Conspiracy Trial at Bombay. Hindusthan 
watched it with mixed feelings of horror and anxiety. 


Silence was proclaimed. The Chief Prosecution Counsel, 
Mr. Jcirdine, rose and made the opening speech for the prose- 
cution, and occupied the whole of the first day’s proceedings. 
When the Court resumed hearing on 26th September, it was 
argued before the Tribunal that they should stay the proceed- 
ings and allow Savarkar’s appeal against his arrest at 
Marseilles to go to the French and British Governments. This 
objection was overruled. On the 27th and 28th September 
the Advocate- General continued his speech. After two pro- 
secution witnesses were examined and cross-examined, the 
Court asked Savarkar to cross-examine them if he so desired. 
Thereupon Savarkar rose and stated before the Tribunal that 
he did not recognise the juri.sdiction of the Indian Govern- 
ment to try him as he was entitled to the Right of Asylum 
and therefore to the protection of French Law. He added 
that he had entirely abandoned himself to the French Nation, 
the land of Fraternity, Equality and Liberty, and so he 
would not take any part in the trial. On the same day 
Savarkar’s counsel Mr. Baptista raised the point that 
Savarkar’s arrest was illegal. The Court overruled the objec- 
tion. On October 1, 1910, the provisions of the Extradition 
Act were fully discussed. When asked by the Court, Savarkar 
refused to say anything on the point. The Court declared its 
opinion that Savarkar’s illegal arrest at Marseilles did not 
affect the powers of the Indian Law Courts to try him. During 
the course of the trial, the prosecution withdrew the charge 
against Savarkar that the accused had waged war against 
His Majesty the King. Thus the second trial ended before its 
start. During the protracted trial many witnesses for the pro- 
secution were mangled. About three hundred witnesses were 
examined and cross-examined. Majority of the accused 
complained to the Court that they had given their statements 
before the Magistrate under tortures or for saving their rela- 
tions from harassment at the hands of the police and the same 
should not be taken to be true. 

After the witnesses came the statements of the accused. 
When the Chief Justice asked Savarkar to have his say, he 
stated, “ I am quite innocent of the charges laid against me. 
I took part in the proceedings of the trial in England where 
courts are established by democratic rules sanctioned by the 


people. In such courts, one can expect to get justice. There 
the authority does not rely upon brute force. The condition 
of In dian Courts of Law is quite the reverse. I am not 
amenable to the Jurisdiction of Indian Courts of Law. I, 
therefore, decline to give any statement or bring any evidence 
for my defence.” 

Then followed the arguments of the counsels. The Advocate- 
General made a long speech which lasted for a week. Though 
Savarkar’s name was last on the list of the accused, he began 
with Savarkar ! The defence Counsels took a httle more than 
a week to complete their addresses. One of the accused, 
Gangaram Kupchand, read out his own statement in his 

Chief of the revolutionary party as he was, Savarkar bore 
himself with courage and dignity throughout the trial. Dressed 
in a fine European suit, he glowed with smiles, intelligence 
and brilliance. He looked like a hero confident of his cause. 
He had made a sincere appeal to his co-accused to throw as 
much brunt and responsibility upon him alone as possible and 
try to mitigate their sufferings, and secure their acquittal. 
Such a life and death struggle could not embarrass him. On 
the contrary he helped the defence Counsels by jotting down 
points for cross-examination. Throughout the trial he cheer- 
ed up the broken-hearted, and encouraged others. The end 
was near at last. The accused discussed among themselves 
about their crowns and crosses. A cross or gallows or trans- 
portation was considered first class. Lesser sentences were 
considered second class or pass class according to the period 
of the sentence, and an acquittal was deemed a failure ! 

At last came the day of judgment after sixty-eight days of 
protracted trial. It was Saturday, the 23rd of December 1910. 
The judges took their seats amid pin-drop silence. After 
reading the judgment the Chief Justice began to announce 
sentences and started with Savarkeir. He announced : 

“ Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the sentence of the Court upon 
you is transportation for life sind forfeiture of all your 
property.” The sentences on the other accused followed. 

The Court struck the leader when he was gagged. The 
decision was ex parte. The legality of his arrest on French 
soil did not matter to the Tribunal. That he was before them 



during the trial was sufficient The fact that he was brought 
to India on an illegal warrant was not a point of consideration 
for their just heads. What a glaring strain on law and out- 
rage on the International Law ! 

The Special Tribvmal passed judgment on a man whose 
case was sub judice in the International Court at the Hague ! 
In a country swayed by imperialism, justice also assumes an 
imperious face and imperils truth. It is not justice. It is 
the dark desire for domination. The vulgeirity of the saying, 
“ Everything is fair in love and war,” is seen in its liideous 
colour during such great political trials. The party or Govern- 
ment in power sets lawyers busy not to find truth and give 
justice, but to find reasons for upholding the predetermined 
legal answers ! Did not Englishmen try Mary Queen of Scots 
though they had no power or right to do so ? Even so did 
they try Savarkar. Mary was not born an English subject, 
nor was she ever denizated. One more sovereign point. It 
is the received doctrine that a foreign sovereign is immune 
from all processes of law. Her death was a pohtical necessity 
and Mary's head fell on the scaffold ! 

Out of the other thirty-seven accused in this famous Nasik 
Trial, Shankar Vaidya, Vinayak Barve, and Vinaj'ak Fulam- 
brikar were set at liberty at the commencement of the trial. 
Vinayak Gaydhani, Ramchandra Kothe, Govind Bapat, Hari 
Thatte, Trimbak Jog, Shankar Mahajan, Mukund Moghe and 
Keshav Paranjpe — these eight were acquitted. Keshav 
Shripad Chandvadkar alias Brahmagiri Buwa was sentenced 
to transportation for fifteen years. Gopalrao Patankar, 
Krishnaji Khare, and Trimbakrao Marathe — these three were 
sentenced to ten years’ rigorous imprisoxunent each ; Damodar 
Chandratrye, Puriishottam Dandekar, Gopal Dharap, Sakha- 
ram Gorhe and Vishnu Bhat — ^these five to five years’ each ; 
Shridhar Shidhaye, Waman Palande, Damodar Paranjpe and 
Raghimath Bhave — ^these four to four years’ each ; Vishnu 
Kelkar and Kashinath Tonape — these two to three years’ each ; 
Purushottam Gokhale, Anant Konakar and Vishwasrao 
Davre — ^these three to three years’ each ; Vinayak Tikhe, 
Balwant Barve and Sakharam Kashikar — ^these three to two 
years’ each; and Vinayak Manohar, Gangaram Rupchand, 


Narayanrao Savarkar and Raghunath Ambedkar— these four 
were sentenced to six months’ rigorous imprisonment each. 

When the judges rose, the patriot-prisoners sprang up to 
their feet and shouted “ Hail ! thee, Goddess of Liberty ! ” 
even on their way to the savage jails. The judges were 
startled and looked back. The police rushed in. In the dock 
Savarkar tried to bid good-bye to his brother, but was not 
allowed to do so. So he waved his hat, and under the escort 
he walked steadily away from the court with his princely 

The judgment in Savarkar’s trial deals exhaustively with 
various political and secret activities of the Abhinava Bharat, 
its inflaming pamphlets, its books, its plans and aims and says : 
“There is evidence in the shape of certain documents found 
in the possession of the accused Kashikar, shortly after the 
arrest of Ganesh Savarkar in 1909, which indicates that the 
association aimed at some sort of organization founded upon 
the model of Revolutionary Societies in Russia. The sug- 
gested methods of preparation for war are the purchase and 
storing of weapons in neighbouring countries to be used when 
opportunity should occur ; the opening of many very small 
but secret factories at some distance from one another for the 
manufacture of weapons clandestinely in the country seeking 
independence and the purchase by secret societies of weapons 
in other countries to be secretly imported in merchantships.” 

This was an historically true assessment of the Abhinava 
Bharat. The Society had storehouses of bombs at Bassein 
and other places. Bomb factories were also started and were 
working in the suburbs of Bombay and other places in Maha- 
rashtra. After describing Savarkar’s various activities the 
Judges observe ; “ We find the accused guilty of the abetment 
of waging war by instigation, by the circulation of printed 
matter inciting to war, the providing of arms and the distribu- 
tion of instructions for the manufacture of explosives. He is, 
therefore, guilty of an offence punishable under Section 121-A 
of the Indian Penal Code. We also find him guilty of conspir- 
ing with the other accused to overawe, by criminal force or 
show of criminal force, the Government of India and the Local 

But the tragedy did not stop here ! Not content with one 


transportation for Savarkar the Indian Government of Lord 
Hardinge and the Bombay Government of Lord Sydenham 
instituted a second case against Savarkar, this time charging 
him with abetment of the murder of Mr. Jackson, the Collector 
of Nasik ! The Indian Government dreaded his return even 
after serving a sentence for twenty-five years ! It was mad 
with vengeance ! It knew that a day for this man was a 
month for others ! The same Tribunal was to try him. The 
show was one-sided like the former one. Savarkar maintain- 
ed his incontrovertible stand even in this trial, refused to 
stand to their judgment, and prejudice his case at the Inter- 
national Court. But it mattered little to the Tribtmal. 

This trial opened on January 23, 1911. After the Advocate- 
General’s summing-up, Savarkar was brought from the Dock 
to the Bar to have his say. Savarkar reiterated his innocence 
and said that he had no direct or indirect connection with the 
crime. He pointed out to the Court that the only evidence 
that came before the Tribunal of his alleged complicity was 
the pamphlet, Bande Mataram, found with Chengirirao. But 
that too was not concerned with Jackson’s murder ; because 
it was clear from the evidence that it was despatched from 
London after the murder, he added. As for the pistol, which 
was used in killing Jackson, it was strenuously contended that 
there was no sufficient proof that Savarkar was the person, 
who entrusted the twenty Browning pistols to the cook 
Chatturbhuj with one of which Jackson was killed. 

Despite these overwhelming odds, however, on January 30, 
1911, the Tribunal sentenced Savarkar to another transporta- 
tion for life ! Upon this Savarkar rose and declared : “ I am 
prepared to face ungrudgingly the extreme penalty of your 
laws, in the belief that it is through sufferings and sacrifice 
alone that our beloved Motherland can march on to an 
assured, if not a speedy, triumph ! ” ^ 

Two transportations ! Unsurpassable, unheard of ! Release 
after half a century ! A unique record and a landmark in 
the political history of the world ! It is significant that the 
judgments of these famous trials have not been reported in 
the law reports ! 

Was Savarkar shocked at the savage sentences passed upon 
^Chitra Gupta, Life of Barrister Savarkar, p. 117. 


him ? Not in the least. He had entered the sacrificial 
conflagration with iron will and divine devotion. Nothing 
conquered his invincible spirit, for nature had given him the 
stoutest heart of his age that could not be crushed by adversity 
or peril. He fell. He fell for a cause for which Nanasahib 
died, Tatya Tope fell and the glorious Maha Rani Laxmibai 
gave her life on the battle-field. The punishment inflicted 
upon Savarkar was titanic, but his indomitable spirit was an 
iceberg. He was aged twenty-seven years, eight months and 
three days when Government laid him in his veritable grave ! 

The brave son of Hindusthan gave a message to the Indian 
youths ! The youths, who were acquitted in the first trial, 
brought a burning message in the following poetic lines from 
their leader ; 

First Instalment 

“ Pleased be Thou, Mother ! to acknowledge this little 
Seirvice of Thy children. 

Boimdless is our indebtedness to Thee ! Thou chose us to 
bless and suckle us at Thy breast ! 

Behold ! We enter the flames of this consecrated Fire to- 
day. The first instalment of that debt of Love we pay. 

And totally a new birth there and then will we immolate 
ourselves over and over again till the hungry God of Sacrifice 
be full and crown Thee with glory. 

With Shree Krishna for Thy redoubtable Charioteer, and 
Shree Ram to lead, and thirty crores of soldiers to fight under 
Thy baimer. 

Thy army stops not though we fall ! 

But pressing on shall utterly rout the forces of Evil and 
Thy right hand. Oh Mother, shall plant the golden Baimer of 
Righteousness on the trimnphant tops of the Himalayas.” ^ 


The Indian Government prosecuted Savarkar post-haste. As 
a matter of fact and on principle, the Special Tribunal should 
have stayed the proceedings from September 25, 1910, as 
Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary of the British 

> Savarkar, An Echo from Andamans. 


Government, had signed an agreement with M. Paul Gambon, 
the Ambassador of the French Republic, on that day and 
ag reed to refer the Savarkar case to the International Court 
at the Hague. This, of course, he had done because of 
popular French clamour for justice to Savarkar and in 
recognition of the sovereignty of France. 

But this agreement was a result of a powerful agitation of 
the people and the press. The sensational news of Savarkar’s 
escape first appeared in a few lines in the Paris edition of the 
Daily Mail of July 11. Savarkar’s colleagues, who had failed 
in their attempts at rescuing Savarkar at Marseilles, wired 
from Marseilles the news of the thrilling escape of their leader 
to the L’Humanite, a Socialist newspaper in Paris, edited by 
M. Jean Languet, the grandson of Karl Marx. He Hashed the 
news of Savarkar’s escape on July 12. Pandit Shyamji, 
Madame Cama and Ranaji lost no time in contacting the great 
Socialist leader of France, Monsieur Jaures who was also 
the Mayor of Marseilles and other French influential leaders. 
M. Jaures took up the cause and voiced the demand for the 
return of Savarkar to France. UEclaire, he Temps, he Matin 
and all other national newspapers of France joined the attack 
and a storm of protest reigned over France against the illegal 
arrest of Savarkar on their soil. In England Guy A. Aldred, 
the young editor of the Herald of Revolt, who was released in 
July 1910, also raised a hue and cry for Savarkar’s release by 
his incessant appeals, untiring speeches and a chain of articles 
on behalf of ‘ the Savarkar Release Committee ’ which was 
established in London in August 1910. Aldred stressed the 
illegality and immorality of the warrant of the Indian Gov- 
ernment and appealed to all freedom-loving citizens of the 
world to demand Savarkar’s release. Embassies all over the 
world, too, were stirred. Monsieur Pierron, Assistant Ambas- 
sador of Spain, Monsieur Jambon, Assistant Ambassador of 
Paraguay, and the Ambassador of Portugal at Calcutta 
expressed their opinion that the French demand for Savarkar's 
return to France was lawful. According to International Law 
the stuxender of a fugitive must be a national act and not a 
local act. This point was also hotly discussed in the French 
Press. In short, “ Savarkar’s extraordinary heroism at 
Marseilles was applauded by the impartial press of the world, 



His whole career, his patriotic exploits in India and England 
were recounted at great length everywhere,” ^ and almost all 
Eiiropean press supported the French Press in its demand for 
the retvurn of Savarkar to France. In view of these discussions 
in the world press in general and the blaze of protest in the 
French press in particular, the French Government at last 
made a demand for the return of Savarkar to France. 

The British Premier, Mr. Asquith, declared on July 29, 1910, 
in the House of Commons that the French Government had 
demanded the return of Savarkar. At the outset English 
statesmen tried to hush up the matter, calling it their home 
affair. Papers like the London Times opined that inter- 
national law on the point was not authoritatively settled ! 

At this juncture Savarkar smuggled a statement of the 
authentic accoimt of his escape and re-arrest at Marseilles 
through the Yeravada Jail to his friends in Europe, and gave 
a fresh impetus to the whole affair. The statement was 
circulated throughout the world press, and a vigorous demand 
was again put forward for Savarkar’s return to France. The 
entire French press dememded with one voice the return of 
Savarkar to France in vindication of the Right of Asylum. 
The Socialist Conference of Europe in its Copenhagen Session 
held in September 1910, demanded Savarkar’s return to 
France, and as a result of this national and international pres- 
sure the French Republic had to renew its demand for 
Savarkar’s restoration in vindication of its sovereignty. And 
at last the British Government had to yield. 

Thereupon England’s Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, 
and M. Paul Cambon, the French Ambassador in London, 
signed a six-articled agreement as related above, and 
submitted to arbitration the question of Savarkar’s arrest at 
Marseilles and return to the Republic. Articles 1, 2 and 3 
deal with the duty, composition and working of the Arbitra- 
tion Tribunal. The fourth article defines the place and 
representation on the Tribunal and the fifth article lays down 
that the proceedings of the Tribunal would be either in the 
French or the English language and the decision in the two 
languages. The sixth article defines the time limit. 

The British opinion was not wholly on the side of its 

^ Indulal Yajnik, Shyamaji Krishnavarma, p. 289. 


GovernmeLt in this affair. There were some voices of dissent. 
Sir Henry Cotton, speaking at the residence of B. C. Pal at 
a small gathering held in honour of the New Year, 1911, saw 
Savarkar’s portrait in the halL He admired Savarkar’s 
intellect, courage and patriotism, although he warned the 
Indian youths not to waste their energy in that way. He then 
openly appreciated Savarkar’s claim to the Right of Asylum 
and expressed the hope that the British Government would 
hand him over to France. There was a huge uproar against 
Sir Henry Cotton. Some suggested to the British Govern- 
ment to stop his pension and even revoke his knighthood ! 

From the first M. Briand, the Prime Minister of France, did 
not act sincerely in this matter. Under fear of a powerful 
and threatening Germany M. Briand looked upon England 
as a friend. Naturally powerful nations like Germany and 
Russia were dropped out from the panel of the Tribunal and 
small nations were selected on it. The Hague International 
Tribunal was composed of M. Beernaert, ex-Prime Minister 
of Belgium as its President, M. Graham, an ex-Minister of 
Norway, Mr. Jonkheer Loman, a Member of the Second 
Chamber of Holland, England’s Earl of Desert and France’s 
Louis Renault as its members. M. Louis Renault was an 
eminent jurisconsult, an authority on international law, a 
permanent Member of the Hague Tribunal and winner of the 
Nobel Prize in 1907. This world-famous trial opened on 
February 16, 1911, and though expected to last about a month 
as stated in article six of the agreement, wound up its work 
after a few hurried sittings. On February 24, 1911, they gave 
judgment in favour of the British Government, “admitting 
that an irregularity was committed in the arrest of Savarkar 
and in his being handed over to the British Police.’’ 

The judgment was a shock to freedom-loving minds all over 
the world. The Morning Post of Elngland, The Post in 
Germany, the Daily News of England, described this Award 
of the Hague Tribunal as something that reduced the “ Right 
of Asylum ’’ and International Law to a farce. Vehemently 
criticising this gross outrage on International Law, Guy A. 
Aldred in his editorial in the Herald of Revolt of March 1911, 
writes : “ Savarkar has been danmed to a life of sojourn in an 
Indian dtmgeon by the infamy of a man who previously 


betrayed the French proletariat. But for the latter’s agita- 
tion against the Hindu patriot’s irregxdar arrest at Marseilles 
on July 8th last — and Briand’s fears of a general strike, — ^the 
French Premier would never have invited the decision which 
brought about his resignation three days later. The Hague 
Award, annulling the Right of Asylum, was only possible 
because Aristide Briand volimtarily betrayed the sovereignty 
of France.” This gross violation of the Right of Asylum and 
the grave injustice perpetrated on Savarkar were bitterly 
criticised also by the La Soclete Nouvelle published at Mons 
in Belgium. Its editorial in its issue of March 1912 said : 
“ England’s infamous empire rests on blood, ferocious repres- 
sion and officially acknowledged systematic tyranny.” Dora 
Marsden, editor of The Freewoman, fearlessly attacked the 
Hague Award and published Aldred’s vigorous article under 
the title “ The Savarkar infamy.” A German fortnightly 
published at Zurich, Switzerland, called Der Wanderer 
editorially supported Aldred’s work in connection with 
Savarkar’s case. Most of the British, German, American, 
Italian and the entire French press condemned the Hague 

The consequences of the Hague decision were enormous and 
far-reaching. The betrayal by Briand was so grave and 
ruinous that only three days after the Hague Award he resign- 
ed rather than face the questions in the Chamber of Deputies. 
On the day of this Hague decision the Russian Duma passed 
a biU annulling the right of political asylum ! As a reward 
for this marvellous blackmail in connection with Savarkar’s 
case at the Hague, Mr. Eyre Alexander Crowe, an assistant 
in the Foreign Affairs Office of Britain, was knighted in 1911. 

The international issue in the Savarkar case was thus foully 
settled. But the agitation for the release of Savarkar spon- 
sored by Aldred and Pandit Shyamji went on imabated till 
the outbreak of World War I when Aldred was imprisoned for 
anti-war propaganda and Pandit Shyamji had to shift his 
headquarters to Geneva. But during that period Pandit 
Shyamji had spread the agitation all over Europe. It was 

1 Guy A. Aldred, editor of The Word, Glasgow, quoted his articles from 
his Herald of the Revolt and other extracts from different contem^rary 
newspapers of Europe concerning Savarkar’s Case at the Hague in the 
special Savarkar issue of The Word in April 1947. 


through the efforts of Pandit Shyamji that Professor F. M. 
Zandrine, ofiScer of Public Instruction and a leading member 
of the executive cotincil of the Federation of the Italian press 
promised Monsieur Pierre Khorat, the biographer of Savarkar, 
and Pandit Shyamji that the Italian Republican Party and 
especially the Parliamentary group would agitate for the 
release of Savarkar and accordingly in October 1912, the 
Republican Party of Italy resolved in its meeting at Rome to 
commence the agitation.^ 

Thus Savarkar’s was the greatest historical trial the world 
has ever seen. The trial flashed India’s aspirations on the 
front pages of world press. India’s manhood and valour were 
indelibly imprinted on the pages of world history. The trial 
also left an imprint of Savarkar’s personality on the Inter- 
national Law and stamped on Marseilles the footprints of a 
champion who heroically strove for the deliverance of a sup- 
pressed nation. India was discussed for the first time in 
international politics. Its impact was so great that its right- 
eous pressure hastened the fall of the Premier of France, M. 
Briand ! Such was the magnitude, such was the deathless 
blow that Savarkar struck individually, nationally and inter- 
nationally upon the British Empire ! 

In his introduction to Sri Ranade’s biography of Savarkar 
the late Sri N. C. Kelkar states : “ The British Government 
boasts of having bestowed on India a seat in the League of 
Nations after the great war ; but it was already snatched and 
confirmed for India by Savarkar, when he leapt from the 
port-hole of the ship into the sea at Marseilles, and standing 
on the soil of France challenged the nations of the world 
‘ Speak out gentlemen, speak out ’ in the name of International 


“ Did you recognise me ? ’The garments are different. I 
am the same man. This prison dress also satisfies the basic 
human want namely protection from cold. Providence will- 
ing, we may meet again. If the affairs of life ever tempt you, 
think for a while ! If life means giving birth and rearing 

^Indulal Yajnik, Shyamaji Krishnavarma, pp. 304*5. 


young ones, crows and sparrows also do the same in their 
nests. But if you take a broader view of life, you wiU agree 
that we have lived like men. We have extinguished the fire 
in our kitchen so that some day the smoke of gold may come 
out of thousands of homes.” 

It is the great art of life to forget one’s own petty self, serve 
others and seek their good. He is a Great Man who follows 
his path with invincible resolution, who resists temptation 
both from within and from without ; who bears the heavy 
bmrdens cheerfully and who is cahn in storms and fearless 
under frowns. 

Mark the self-denial and self-control in the afore.said piece 
of advice. Standing on the threshold of eternity, a young 
man, who had been struck with a thunderbolt, was heroically 
consoling his young wife. It was Savarkar, the hero of Indian 
Independence. Government was kind enough to permit his 
wife to interview him in the Dongri Jail, Bombay, in the 
presence of a Jail Officer before he departed for the 
Andamans. His wife’s grief was indescribable. Her soul was 
wrung with agony. With the sublime courage of a Sati she 
saw her rosy life put into a yawning grave. A sad inquiry 
dwelt in her gaze and wavered on her lip. She had already 
lost her baby son when her husband was in London. Saintly, 
heroic, she stood speechless. Crushed with the heavy chains 
and overflowed with feelings, Savarkar thus interpreted the 
grandeur and gravity of the fate that had befallen her ! There 
was no time for righteous sighs or sobs. The time for inter- 
view ended. While parting Savarkar’s brother-in-law who 
was also present there entreated him to recite every morning 
a certain Mantra, and the scene vanished like a dream. 

A week or so before this interview Savarkar was informed 
in the Dongri Jail that the verdict of the International Court 
at the Hague had gone against him and that the fifty years’ 
sentence now stood confirmed. He took off his civil dress and 
gazed at the jail garments and the ticket to be borne on chest, 
thinking that the dress he was putting on would either leave 
him in 1960 or his corpse would come out with it. His property 
was confiscated and even his books and dress were put to 
auction. His spectacles were returned to him as a favour. 
Such complete sacrifice in the cause of freedom was made 


hardly by any other man throughout India’s struggle for free- 
dom. Someone sarcastically murmxured, “The kind Govern- 
ment will release you in 1960.” With a smile Savarkar 
replied, “ Death is more kind. If it delivers me earlier ? ” 
Savarkar laughed consciously, the fool freely. 

In order to bring the inhuman life sentence for half-a-cenhiry 
under the pale of human laws, Savarkar appealed to Govern- 
ment that the two transportations inflicted upon him should 
run concurrently. For, a man has but one life. How can he 
have two life sentences then ? But his application was 
rejected. The officer who conveyed this decision to him said 
with mixed feelings of humour and sympathy that the Govern- 
ment desired him to undergo the sentence for the next life 
also during this lifetime. Savarkar then exclaimed : “ Then 
the good thing about this is that the Government has at least 
rejected the Christian belief in resurrection and accepted the 
Hindu doctrine of re-birth ! This is not a small gam ! ” 

The furnace of tribulations was lit. The first task that was 
assigned to Savarkar was the chopping of cocoanut shells. He 
writhed with pain. But his mind took a philosophical turn 
and interpreted the chopping of the shells as the chopping of 
the fragments out of the elements of life and twisting them 
into one whole. “ In its process, the compound of life develops 
to its full size and again dissolves into many fragments return- 
ing to the original elements from which it emanates.” 

Ordinarily the very idea of the terrific sentence for half-a- 
century would have crushed even the stoutest heart. But it 
was Savarkar’s motto that enabled him to bear heroically the 
colossal shock ! His motto was : “ Don’t be too much hopeful 
of success. Be always prepared for the worst possible 
reverses ! For those who are born in an age of despair and 
darkness must be prepared to face the grim struggle with the 
possibility of reverses, if they aspire for the dawn of a new 

To cope with the titanic term of two transportations he 
thought out an equally august plan. In order to pay the debt 
of the Motherland and render service to humanity, he made 
up his mind to compose an epic, write it on the canvas of his 
mind and dedicate it to the Motherland through his would- 
be sons, if he was ever allowed to settle according to the jail 


rtiles with his wife on the island, or in any other way. This 
was the bare minimum that he could do in his hopeless, help- 
less state. He had no pen, no paper, no light, no lamp. 

Savarkar started in right earnest to compose his poetry. 
The first poem he composed was on Guru Govind Singh, the 
sire of martyrdom. According to Savarkar Great Men with 
great success shine like the golden domes of great palaces ; 
but the foundation that holds the pillars and domes lies 
buried under the ground. Guru Govind Singh, who fell in a 
great cause dejected, betrayed and deserted, was more heroic 
and appealing than any other hero in the eyes of Savarkar 
who had also met with the Guru’s fate ! 

Savarkar then composed another poem on the crucified 
Christ whose divine personage submitted himself to torture 
and sacrifice and showed considerable physical fortitude in 
going through the cruel ordeal for his divine mission. 
Although an advocate of the doctrine of ‘ protection of the 
good and destruction of the evil-doer,’ he held in high 
reverence the glorious martyrdom of Jesus Christ. 

Savarkar’s heroism had thrilled both the hemispheres with 
his epic adventure. Evu*opean countries hailed him as a 
martyr, but he now happened to read the Anglo-Indian papers 
who stigmatized him as a ‘ rascal ’ ! Did not the predecessors 
of these pirates similarly describe in London papers 
Washington in 1780 and Napoleon in 1803 ? ’ But Savarkar 
took both the remarks in good hiunour. He equated the jeers 
with the tears, the rascality from the pen of pirates and pedlars 
with the glory of martyrdom, and found his individual worth 
unchanged. The man who stands upon his own conscience 
and character cares not for praise or censm-e. However, 
Savarkar said to himself that a public servant should be ever 
prepared both for applause and censure. 

From the Dongri Jail Savarkar was shifted to the BycuUa 
Jail. Savarkar inquired of the sergeant in charge about the 
name of the jail. Being afraid to pass on the information the 
sergeant spelt the word Byculla and obliged Savarkar. So 
strict were the orders governing Savarkar’s movements ! 
Shortly afterwards, he was transferred to the Thana Jail. 
Normally warders, havaldars and petty officers cherished in 

I Bernard Shaw, Saint Joan (Introduction) . 


their heart of heaiis a very high respect for him. They felt 
for his colossal ruin. One of the petty oflBcers in the jail 
taTxntmgly remarked that Savarkar would be definitely set 
free in the year 1960. Savarkar silenced the twitters of the 
small fry when he asked him, “ But is the British Rule itself 
going to last for fifty years more ? ” The petty officer deified 
the leonine courage of Savarkar and was proud to be his slave. 
He did Savarkar a good turn. At dead of night he brought 
the first note of cheer from Narayanrao Savarkar, then a boy 
of seventeen, serving a sentence of six months in the Thana 
Jail. Commenting on his dark future Savarkar brushed over 
the dark canvas of the Andamans and wrote in reply that he 
hoped he would at least dedicate an epic to the Motherland 
during the term of his transportation. 

The day of Savarkar’s final departure for the Andamans 
soon dawned. Escorted by a squad of armed guards, batches 
of convicts on transportation reached the Thana Jail from all 
comers of the Province. Some frightful, some fearless, some 
tearful, some helpless, some reckless and some repentant, they 
were specimens of heartless murderers, meanest brutes, daring 
cutthroats and criminals of every description. But this 
strange type of humanity conceived a sort of awe and 
reverence for Savarkar, the Barrister convict. As a mark of 
goodness and respect they even went to bed rather early to 
enable the Barrister Babu to have a soimd sleep. Their 
attitude was natural. For it is a notable fact that convicts 
and prisoners have always a high regard for a barrister. They 
know he is a man who shelters their crimes and sins under 
the shield of his intelligence or shatters the web of the villainy 
of those devils ! 

The march to the Andamans began. With a kurta, a small 
pot, an iron plate in one hand, blanket and a mattress under 
one armpit, Savarkar walked with his hand roped to that of 
a European officer. Seeing the special care taken by the 
officers of Savarkar, the convicts said with a proud note that 
the Government feared him ! In spite of the utmost secrecy 
observed, the news of Savarkar’s departure leaked out and 
anxious faces were on the lookout in the streets of Thana for 


a glimpse of the world-famous Indian pmtriot. At the Thana 
station Europeans took their ladies upon their shoulders to 
enable them to catch a glimpse of the distinguished prisoner ! 
Savarkar, in handcuffs and irons, was seated in a special 
compartment and his hand was tied to that of a stout officer. 
And the train steamed out for Madras. 

One officer, travelling in the same train, took a look at 
Savarkar at every halt. At last, at Madras he came up to 
Savarkar to bid him adieu. In a moving tone he said : 
“ Good-bye friend, I hope you will be released in December 
at the time of the Delhi Durbar.” Savarkar thanked him for 
his good wishes and said : “ I don’t think so. Our blows on 
the Government are quite fresh. They will not be forgotten 
so soon.” “ All the same,” the Officer continued : “ I will 
never forget this your dignified courage.” It was a wrong 
impression prevailing among the Britishers that Savarkar 
was ungentlemanly, insolent and a dangerous man. They 
imagined that the presence of a Briton infuriated him. 
Savarkar, however, corrected their wrong notion with his 
gentle speeches. He said he never hated anybody simply 
because he was an Englishman or a Mohammedan. He 
returned smile for smile, thanks for good wishes and scorn for 
scorn ! ! 

On reaching Madras Savarkar was taken to a steamer in a 
small special boat, ■which was well guarded. While in the 
boat, one officer tried to pump out some information from him 
concerning the assassination of Mr. Ashe, the Collector of 
Tinnevelly, Savarkar had come to know about it in the 
Thana Jail. But the officer wanted him to comment or 
criticise his statements. So he said : “ In the province of 

Madras there are no thoughtless youths and so it is all quiet 
here.” Savarkar with an implied smile asked him whether 
he was sure about the statement he made. And the officer 
understood it all ! 

On June 27, 1911, Savarkar was lodged in the steamer the 
B.S. MAHARAJAH. He was put on the lower dark deck in the 
iron cages meant for the convicts. Would he ever again see 
his Motherland or die the fate of the Russian exiles in Siberia, 


thought Siivarkar to himself. But his thoughts were inter- 
rupted. The engine roared. The steamer whistled ! His 
voyage to the Devil’s Island began. A terrific shock came to 
him. For his was the fate of a defeated Washington ! Sur- 
rounded by the shabby and vile, wild and wicked men, fed 
on loathsome food, lying beside a cask used as water closet, 
he was overwhelmed by a feeling of nausea. He was stifled 
and only the philosophical bent of his mind came to his re.scue. 
It said, “ It is nothing. Food turns into stool and stool into 
manure and manure into food again. Then the food and stool 
are in reality not dissimilar.” However, on application, the 
kind medical officer gave him the advanlage of a ventilation 
hole to breathe more freely without worsening the malignant 
ashtma he had contracted in London. 

For a while even the invincible mind of Savarkar was over- 
whelmed with a feeling of despair, sorrow and separation. A 
human heart after aU ! His mind took flight from the limited 
‘ I ’ to the unlimited universe and the elements ! He looked 
at the endless stretches of seas. He wondered at the fate of 
man when compared with the infinite vastness of the oceans 
and the universe. He said to himself : “ Man has been dream- 
ing of a good future ever since the dawn of the Vedas. And 
a dream is nothing but a flash of light in the pitchy darkness 
of the present.” He exclaimed that it would be the greatest 
day in the history of mankind when the sun would witness 
the millennium and the real Golden Age where man loved 
his brother and gave up lust. Absorbed in such exalted 
thoughts, Savarkar came to the end of the journey. 

It was the morning of July 4, 1911. A shimmer of golden 
sun was shaking through the trees and was giving life and 
hope to the denizens in the dreaded Indian Bastille, the 
Andamans ! The steamer had anchored at Port Blair, the 
capital of the Andamans. The terrific jaws of the jail opened. 
The steamer was the threshold of life and death. One crossed 
it, and stepped into the yawning deathland. As they crossed 
the gate of the jail, the convicts quailed with their blankets 
overhead and plates in their hands. Savarkar was absorbed 
in great thoughts while going his way to the jail. With the 
ambition of a patriot, the vision of a poet and the foresight 


of a prophet, he was engrossed in assessing the importance 
of the Andamans. Given proper opportunities of develop- 
ment, he murmured to himself, these islands could be the 
outposts of Free Hindusthan replacing Singapore which was 
so by accident. They would be the gateway of India on the 
East. If a strong naval base were built there, he thought, no 
enemy could strike at the Eastern coast of India ! And how 
prophetic ! The islands have become important naval bases 
during the present decade. 


The Indian Bastille 


With a blanket on his head and a platter in one hand, 
Savarkar stood in chains before the ferocious lofty gates deco- 
rated with all kinds of chains, hand-cuffs, fetters, guns and 
bayonets. The gate creaked ! Someone whispered that 
Mr. Barrie was coming on. Savarkar was preoccupied and 
was not conscious of Barrie’s arrival. A voice roared, “ Leave 
him. He is not a tiger ! ” The harsh voice waked Savarkar 
up. Turning to Savarkar the jailer opened conversation with 

Babrie : Are you the same man that tried to escape at 
Marseilles ? 

Savarkar : Yes, why ? 

Barrie : Why did you do it ? 

Savarkar : For some reasons. One of them was to free 
myself from these hardships. 

Barrie : But you fell into them of your own accord, is it 
not ? 

Savarkar : True. I threw myself into them. Just so, I 
thought it my duty to escape from all these tribulations. 

Barrie : To tell the truth, I am not an Englishman. I am 
an Irishman. 

Savarkar : May be. Had you been an Englishman, it 
would have mattered little. I would not hate you because 
you were an Englishman. I have spent the best part of 
my youth in England and I am a warm admirer of many 
virtues of Englishmen. 

Barrie : But the point is that I was an Irish revolutionary 
and fought for the independence of Ireland. Now I see 
the futility of it. Hence as a friend I may tell you that 
you are still yoimg and I am advanced in age. . . . 

Savarkar {cutting him short) : And don’t you think that 
perhaps that may be the reason of the change that has 



come over you ? Not increasing wisdom but dwindling 
energy ! 

Babbie {scandalized) : You see, you are a barrister and I 
am a mere jailer. Don’t discard my advice. Murders are 
murders and they will never bring independence. 

Savarkar : Quite so ; but why don’t you try your advice 
on the Sinn Feincrs ? And who told you that I was a 
party to violence ? 

Barrie {suddenly assuming his official tone) : What I 
talked is against the rules. It pained me to see a youth 
of your great learning and fame among these criminals. 
I have nothing to do with your past. Mind well you are 
to abide by the rules. Their breach will bring on its 
penalty. One thing more. I may inform you that any 
attempt on your part at escaping from this island will 
be a feast to cannibals. 

Savaiucar : I know Port Blair is not Marseilles ! 

And so ended the first passage at arms between Mr. Barrie 
and Savarkar. 

This Barrie had attained a marvellous notoriety among 
the criminals and political prisoners of India. Violent, fero- 
cious, and stupid, he was a pot-bellied, bulky, red-skinned 
fellow with round staring eyes, fierce moustache, flat nose, 
short neck and carried a big staff in his hand. No other 
mediocre official ever lived long in the memory of the prisoners 
in the Andamans as Barrie did for the atrocities he 
perpetrated in his officied capacity as the jailer of the Indian 
Bastille. Half-ilhterate, full-blown coward, he lustily loved 
authority for which he fawned on his superiors and with 
which he tyrannised the convicts. Ignorant of intellectual 
pursuits his pastime was cruelty. His manner and tone ex- 
pressed instinctive hatred for political prisoners. He loved 
self-praise immensely and sometimes displayed his learning 
which of course consisted of a few lines of poetry and some 
extracts to evoke a good remark from Savarkar. His poor 
wife and educated daughter often emptied the vials of his 
villainy and the Christmas days reminded the Christian jailer 
at least not to return evil for good ! 

Savarkar fearlessly entered the ferocious jaws of the 
Deathland as the early Christian martyrs faced the lions in 



the Coliseum of the Romans. He started his life in the Anda- 
mans with a salt-water bath which began and ended with 
the brays of the Jamadar. Then he was locked in a cell on 
the third floor of the yard No. 7 of the Cellular JaiL The 
whole floor of yard No. 7 was vacated for him. The most 
wicked and vicious Pathans drilled in the methods of tor- 
turous jail administration were posted to guard his cell. It 
had been a part of the policy of the British bureaucracy to 
utilize whenever possible the fanatic Muslim mind against 
the Hindu forces and fighters. At every major crisis, at every 
decisive event, they gave full reins to their instinctive anti- 
Hindu bent of mind to frustrate the plans of the Hindu leaders 
or torture the Hindu agitators. History is replete with such 

It is the characteristic of a great life that it is ever full of 
duties and sacrifices. The soul that suffers gets stronger and 
sober. The soul of a Great Man never stands still. For Great 
Men are the heart of humanity. Their work never ceases 
for a single second until the day of death. The proverbs that 
no pains, no gains and no gall, no glory are undying. After a 
deed of deathless virtue, Savarkar was also thrown into the 
furnace of tribulations. The more the gold burns, the brighter 
it shines, and greater the number of clouds, the more dazzling 
is the splendour of the sun when he breaks forth. 

Love of one’s own country or humanity, if from within, is 
sublime and enduring. Patriotism or service of humanity, 
if from without, fades and withers. The former originates 
from a devotion to human progress or a belief in the sanctity 
of human life. The latter springs from immoral and foul 
personal ambition. Courage and spirit of self-sacrifice perpe- 
tuate true love, and self and pelf scandalize the untrue love. 
Savarkar belongs to the first heroic line of selfless patriots 
who belong not to one particular countiy but to the whole 
world. Savarkar was a pioneer in this line, and pioneers 
idealize the real 'and the successors realize the ideal. 

Savarkar’s arrival deeply stirred the whole of the Anda- 
mans. There was a feeling of change, freshness and life in 
the Andamans. To have a talk or a look at Savarkar, the 
world-famous revolutionary leader, visits of foreigners and 



guests became a common feature in the Andamans. Ocean- 
going steamers, warships, mercantile ships would sojourn to 
give leisure to their men of authority or fame to have a talk 
with the illustrious Indian prisoner. They even humbly 
caioled Mr. Barrie for permitting them to have a look at 
Savarkar. Next morning after Savarkar’s arrival the Pathan 
warder annoxmced the coming of Mr. Barrie. Barrie appeared 
with his usual staff in hand, accompanied by a guest. He 
opened the conversation with a reference to 1857. 

Barrie being struck dumb on all points his guest interfered, 
and said to Savarkar : “ But don’t you condemn the self- 
centred rebels like Nana and Tatya Tope ? ” “ Condemn ? 

You see, I am a prisoner. I can’t freely discuss these points 
here. If you stop me in the middle and try to lower the pres- 
tige and honour of my nation, it will be a sheer act of 
cowardice,” replied Savarkar with a distinct note in his voice. 
Barrie granted Savarkar’s request and allowed him to discuss 
freely. “ I know,” said Savarkar, “ You are feeling the 
embers. This is a discussion on vital points in history and I 
will do it freely at any cost. It is sheer cowardice to bear 
silently vile attacks on one’s national honour.” He proceeded, 

“ The Government had appointed a committee to investigate 
the so-called atrocities of this nature. It pronounced its 
verdict ‘ that those descriptions were baseless ’ and were 
invented by the wily brains of the British soldiers.” The 
flame of righteous pride in Savarkar’s heart was fanned. The 
hero was justifying the deeds of heroes. With a rise in his 
voice he said, “ You describe Nana Sahib and Tatya Tope as 
self-seekers. For, Nana wanted to be king and Tatya wanted 
to attain glory. But is it not also true that Victor Emmanuel 
wanted to be King, Washington had an eye to the president- 
ship and Garibaldi craved for greatness ? The fact is that 
they all fought for their national independence. None should 
decry them. And as for the massacres at Cawnpore, they 
were an answer to the terrible atrocities and the wholesale 
burning of villages committed by the British troops approach- 
ing Cawnpore.” Barrie’s guest was silenced. The conversa- 
tion ended. 

Before Savarkar’s arrival the revolutionaries of Maniktola 
case, Savarkar’s brother Babarao with Wamanrao Joshi, some 


editors from Allahabad and some other political prisoners 
were rotting in the cellular jail of the Andamans. Out of the 
first group three had received sentences for life transportation 
for having waged war against the King Emperor and others 
were short-termed prisoners. Defeated valiant fighters of 
‘ 1857 ’ were the first and foremost champions to face the 
hellish fire of the Andamans. Stricken in age, one of the 
sxirviving warriors of ‘ 1857 ’ congratulated Savarkar on his 
having continued the War of Independence. After the heroes 
of ‘ 1857 ’ came the fighters of Wasudeo Balv/ant. Thus the 
sacrificial fire was kept burning from 1857 to 1910 in the 
Andamans and continued to do so by patriots and martyrs 
who were transported to the Andamans in subsequent years. 

The coming of Savarkar brought better days for the political 
prisoners in particular and convicts in general. Hitherto no 
discrimination was made there between political and ordinary 
prisoners. Barrie and his fawning dogs ran amock. Barrie’s 
word was law, his dogs’ barkings were its arms. A man of 
little education, Barrie compensated for his inferiority complex 
by his harsh voice, bullying nature, crooked ways, and dull 
wits. His rough life had taken off the edge of his sense so much 
so that he utterly failed to distinguish between truth and 
falsehood. In his zest to rule the convicts with a heavy hand 
he proved to be worse than the English officials. Indeed the 
hot sand is more scorching than the sun itself. He called the 
revolutionaries bombthrowers, damned rascals and put the 
letter ‘ D ’ around their neck describing them as “ dangerous ” 
characters ! His attitude towards the ordinary convicts was 
lenient, but towards revolutionaries inexorably severe. He 
violently abused the prisoners in general and causelessly 
harassed them. Even with this sort of harassment, uptU now 
the political prisoners had failed in giving a united fight to 
curb the unjust rule of Barrie. Their condition was very 

The revolutionaries had to undergo unbearable physical 
tortures. They were yoked to the oil-mill. And the working 
on the oil-mill demanded such hard labour that it squeezed 
the life out of even the hardened and seasoned convicts, and 
they trembled at its sight. The oil-miU was, therefore, aptly 
regarded as the friend of suicide. Prisoners had to turn its 


handle horizontally for hours together without even a slight 
break. They had to take their meals and drink water, while 
the oil-mill was in motion lest the quota of the oil might fall 
far below the expectation. But even with such hard labour 
full measure of the required quota could never be fulfilled 
by even the strongest prisoner. Their hands bled, hearts 
ached, heads whirled. They fell in dead faints. When they 
revived, round and round they had to go again in excruciat- 
ing agony. Prisoners were sent to water closets in a file of 
eight or ten and they had to rush out without finishing the 
natural functions at the whim of the warder or were dragged 
out in that state too. It was an offence to answer the call 
of nature except during the scheduled time of morning, noon 
and evening. If any political prisoner felt the necessity to do 
so at odd hours, he did it in his cell in the small pot or on 
the walls of his cell and bribed the scavenger with a pinch of 
tobacco to get it cleared or else he was punished for this 
unavoidable natural call by being put into standing-handcuffs 
from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 12 noon to 5 p.m. During 
these punishment hours if he could not check his natural calls, 
he would answer them in that hanging condition. Political 
prisoners were not given as much leisure or rest as is given 
even to the beasts of burden for answering nature’s calls or 
other natural functions. Educated persons were used as beasts 
of burden and illiterate persons were given clerical work. 
Pathans, warders and petty officers gulped down the .share of 
the prisoners’ food and milk. What is more, the doctors 
followed the diagnosis of the jailer ! 

The right of writing letters home was deprived even if any 
prisoner broke the file at the time of meals, or talked with 
his neighbour. Prisoners were forced to take their meals in 
soaking rains or in the scorching sim. The duration of time 
for meals depended not on the clock, but on the crowing of 
the warder. None could ask for more food, nor eat less. If 
surplus was thrown away, the prisoner was made to bring it 
back and eat it up ! 

Sometimes the prisoners had to drink water with a squeez 
on their noses. So dirty was its smell. Some political 
prisoners were made to do odd jobs at the residence of the 
officers, to clean streets and to draw carts of the officers. To 



relieve taemselves from the insufferable hard labour prisoners 
ate some harmful herbs or took some other drastic medicine 
that brought on diarrhoea or vomits of blood or high fever. 
Some pretended stark madness covering their faces even with 
stools. Their last refuge was suicide, the sure guide, friend 
and saviour, a consummation devoutly to be wished ! Thus it 
will be seen that cellular jail machine was more soulless and 
dreadful, more devilish and dehumanising than any other 
terrific jail machine under the sun of Bastille notoriety or the 
Fortress of Peter and Paul in Czarist Russia of evil name. 

Writing about this prison life, Savarkar said : “ Life in a 
jail for good, for evil, is a unique chance. Man can never go 
out of it exactly as he came in. He goes out far better or far 
worse. Either more angelic or more fiendish. Fortunately 
for me, my mind has so quickly adapted itself to the changes 
in circumstances. It seems so strange that a nature so restless 
and active, roaming over continents, should so quickly feel 
quite at home in a cell hardly a dozen feet in length. And yet 
one of the kindest gifts of Providence to Humanity is this 
plasticity, this adaptability of the human mind to the ever 
changing environments of life.” * To become your own friend 
you must retire into your own inner self and cultivate the 
friendship of the conscience, the God in you. A yogin in 
action can exercise such a tremendous control over his senses. 
Savarkar had conquered his senses and acclimatized himself 
to the new change. His mind climbed the tower of human 
imagination and saw the vastness of the universe dissolving 
its identity into Him. “ When early in the morning and late 
in the evening,” he wrote from the cellular jail, “ I try a bit 
of Pranayam and then pass insensibly into a sweet sound sleep 
— Oh how calm and quiet is that rest, so calm that when I get 
up in the morning, it is long before I can realize again that 
I am in a prison cell lying on a wooden plank. All the 
conunon aims and allurements of mankind having receded 
far, the conscience is perfectly pleased with itself with the 
conviction of having served under His Banner and served 
to some purpose. A calm, sweet equanimity is left with my 
soul and it lulls my mind in an intense peace.” ^ 

J Savarkar, An Echo from Andamans, p. 18. 

•Ibid., p. 18. 


Here is a lively description of the daily life in the Cellular 
jail in Savarkar’s words. “ I get up in the morning when 
the bell goes on at 5 a.m. At its sound I feel as if I had 
entered a higher college for a higher study. Then we do our 
work of rigour till 10 a.m. While my hands and feet are 
automatically doing the given task, my spirit avoiding all 
detection is out for a morning trip, and across the seas and 
oceans, over hills and dales, it roams sipping only pleasant 
things and things noble, like a bee among flowers. Then I 
compose some new lines. Then we dine and at 12 noon 
work again. From 4 p.m. comes rest, reading, etc. This is 
the usual round of life here.” The master artist in Savarkar 
further described the vivid picture in a Voltarian satire. He 
added : ” In a prison what happens on the first day, happens 
always, if nothing worse happens. In fact, it seems to be the 
essence of prison discipline to avoid all novelty, all change. 
Like specimens and curios in a museum, here we are each 
exactly in the same place and same position, belted and 
labelled with the same numbers with more or less dust about 
us. . . . We get up early, work hard, eat pimctually at the 
same place and the same amount and kind of food prepared 
with the same matchless prison skill and medical care.” 
He concluded : “ Almost every night, I tell you, I break the 
jail and out by dale and down and by tower and town go on 
romping till I find some one of you — some one who somewhere 
had been held close to my bosom ! Every night I do it but 
my beneficent jailers take no notice of it. You have only 
to wake up in the jail, that is all they say ! ” * Solitary 
monotony for twelve years in a cell ! This is a clue to the 
introversion that clung to Savarkar in later life and made him 
disinclined to mix freely with people and personalities. 


For the first fortnight Savarkar was closed in a solitary 
cell. Then he was given the work of chopping the barks of 
cocoanuts with a heavy wooden mallet. His hands bled, 
swelled, ached and the coir was blistered with blood. In order 
to frighten Savarkar into submissiveness, Barrie displayed the 
wrath of his power by reviling his co-sufferers in his presence. 

1 Savarkar, An Echo from Andamans, p. 39. 


Barrie’s one aim was to impress upon Savarkar that he was 
not a political prisoner, but an ordinary criminal. The jailer 
always tried to dishearten and frighten him by riveting his 
eyes to the ticket on his breast showing imprisonment for half 
a century. But with cdl his resourcefulness Barrie could not 
overpower or overawe Savarkar. His personality, his fame 
and his courage had outgrown the pale of Barrie’s mind, men 
and power. 

The case of other political prisoners was quite different. 
With sunken heads they bore humiliations and were mortally 
wounded in their feelings, when Barrie spurred them with 
loathing. Savarkar consoled his co-sufferers and breathed 
life into them. He cheered them. He said that though they 
were helpless in those days, yet a day would dawn when 
statues would be erected to their memory in the very jail. 
Future generations would make a pilgrimage to that place 
saying, “ Here dwelt for years the patriots of our land, the 
flesh of our flesh, the spirit of our spirit that fell in the cause 
of freedom.” He added that their sufferings, their wounds 
and their struggle would be fruitful in the end. 

And thirty-two years later Nctaji Subhas Bose of the Indian 
National Army hoisted over Port Blair the flag of indepen- 
dence on December 30, 1943, honoured the memory of the 
Indicin revolutionaries by saluting the cellular jail and re- 
named Andamans as “ Shaheed Island ” in memory of the 
martyrs. The wheel of destiny had turned. In a press 
interview in November 1943, Netaji said : “ Most of the 
political prisoners sentenced to penal servitude for conspiracies 
to overthrow the British Government, — and there have been 
hxmdreds of them, — ^were locked up in this Island. Like the 
Bastille in Paris, which was liberated first during the French 
Revolution, setting free political prisoners, the Andamans, 
where our patriots suffered much is the first to be liberated in 
India’s fight for independence.” ’ Savarkar’s prophecy came 
true to a letter ! 

Subhas Bose was not a degenerated man to disparage the 
noblest sacrifice of the heroes of the Andamans. He knew 
that their prison life had only one class. That was facing 
death in every form at every moment. Not fruits but frowns, 

* Jat Hind, published by Amritlal Prabhashankar, p. 74. 



not cosy beds but wooden planks galled them. There they 
rolled in dark, damp, dirty, dingy cells. Every hour of theirs 
they passed in moving, mournful and moanful misery. Their 
food was half-cooked, soiled, filled with drops of sweat and 
often seasoned with pieces of reptiles or white dead worms. 
They toiled like horses and worked as bullocks ! The climate 
sapped their vitality and life. Under the strain and stress of 
extreme physical rigours some of them showed signs of mental 
aberration and collapsed into insanity. They underwent these 
poignant trials for the very liberation of their Motherland. 
Had they worked safely enough to save their skin, had they 
loved a life of peace, pelf and position, they would have attain- 
ed it easily for some of them were sufficiently rich or eminently 
gifted with rich brains. Subhas knew this and so he honoured 
them first. 

In the middle of August 1911, Savarkar was yoked to the 
oil-mill, the hardest task, the greatest test and the severest 
pain the cellular life witnessed. The jail superintendent called 
Savarkar and said he would not give him that work again 
if he did it for two weeks. This severest turn of dealing with 
prisoners was a result of the strong remarks of an officer from 
Calcutta, the then Capital of the Government of India, to the 
effect that the prisoners in the Andamans were treated 
considerately. That visit gave a handle to Barrie to play 
havoc in the Andamans. Barrie deliberately reminded 
Savarkar of the fifty years’ rigorous sentence and promised 
him help if he did not refuse to do the work. Heartless as he 
was, he unkindly remarked that Savarkar was promoted from 
Coir to Kolu — the oil-mill ! This promotion or rise in the 
status, curiously enough, was upheld by the Bombay Univer- 
sity which informed Savarkar only a day before he was 
harnessed to the oil-mill that his B.A. degree was cancelled. 
There was nothing strange that a University in a slave 
country should kill its child for its own exi.stence. 

As for the remembrance of 50 years’ imprisonment Savarkar 
was used to it now, as an artillery soldier is used to the 
terrific booming. 

The barrister thus began to move around the oil-mill like 
a bullock. His body ached, muscles writhed with pain, 
stomach turned and mouth parched, for the prisoner was not 


even given more than a certain quantity of water. Moved by 
the sight, some political prisoners helped him secretly. There 
was even healthy rivalry among them for washing his clothes 
secretly. Savarkar was overwhelmed with their feelings. In 
turn he would sometimes wash their clothes without their 
knowledge and they sincerely entreated him not to do so. 

Savarkar felt that his great powers that would have enriched 
the destiny of the country were wasting away. Disgustful 
of dying a slow, painful death, and that too unobserved, his 
mind drove him to the thought of suicide. In such a state 
suicide becomes a deed of self-respect ! For a while he was 
fascinated with the idea and greedily looked to the upper side 
of the window of the cell from where many mounted on to 
heaven by means of rags tightened to their necks ! Dusty 
and deadly fatigued, one day he reeled against the vrall sur- 
rounding the oil-mill and fell in a faint. When he revived, 
things around him became gradually visible and intelligible 
to him one by one ; he knew by and by who and where he 
was, and he picked himself up with great effort for work ! 
For some time mind routed reason. Defeated reason again 
joined battle. It said, “ What an ego ! You never craved 
for name, fame and glory. You wished to suffer most for 
humanity. You attained it. What of your abilities and 
intelligence ! There was a time when there were no 
Himalayas ; there will be a time when they will not be there. 
Even the sun in the universe has an unsteady position. He 
will be pricked one day like a bubble and still the universe 
will go on. Therefore, if you want to die, do not die a cowardly 
death by suicide, but die valiantly.” ' Reason inspired 
courage into the mind and it plumed its feathers, soaring, and 
singing again. 

The first secret note Savarkar got was from Hotilal Varma. 
The note dashed against the inside wall of the cell with a 
stone. The sound occasioned a great hubub. Warders from 
below ran upstairs and searched Savarkar and his cell, but 
in vain. When they were gone, he took it out from the 
innermost delicate part of the body and read it ! In it 
Hotilalji had informed Savarkar that there was a division 
among the Bengali revolutionaries. It was a fact that some 

1 Savarkar, Mazi Janmathep, p. 131. 


of them could not stand the sufferings and turned informants 
and lackeys. In others the conscience was not yet dead. They 
told their colleagues to put an end to their lives since life 
had been made impossible for them due to severe agonies. 
Savarkar felt sympathy for the past services and sacrifices of 
those heroic souls who had turned informants. Their tortured 
body became untrue to their faith and trampled upon the soul. 
Yet, he held that none had the right to criticise them but 
those who had suffered more than they. Those who decided 
to live under any circumstances avoided tortures by being 
lackeys and spies of Barrie. Those who despised a life of 
dishonour preferred death to living as traitors to the cause 
and the country. There were few who considered life worth 
living till it did not go against their principles. 


Savarkai resolved to resort to agitation within the four 
corners of law in the Andamans to secure the privileges of 
political prisoners for his comrades and to compel the jail 
authorities to give physical and cultural amenities to political 
prisoners. With that aim in view he first devoted his mind 
to the education of the political prisoners. The revolutionaries 
were all youtlis. Some of them had chosen this life owing 
to their daring, noble and selfless disposition. Some of them 
had vague and hazy notions about the fundamental principles 
of the revolutionary struggle, its aims and its methods. 
Savarkar decided to driU and steel them in those fundamentals 
which gave them a solid base of knowledge of Political 
science, of Economics, and of Constitutional Law. The contact 
began at the oil-mill, or at the work of chopping the bark. 
Besides, education was imparted through the top of the 
windows and holes at the bottom of the walls of the cells; 
on the occasion of transfer of cells, going to and coming from 
the jail office and through a secret service of private notes. 

This movement needed books. And books were a red rag 
to Barrie. On Sundays prisoners got books. Every evening 
they also got books, but each his own. Exchange of books 
was dealt vdth seriously. For this breach of discipline 
offenders would hang in hand-cuffs for a period of four days. 


The chief obstacle in the way was Barrie’s terrible ignorance 
and his loathing for books. To his ignorant mind books 
containing words like “ nation,” “ coxintry ” “ patriotism ”, 
drove men to acts of violence. And books on theosophy, he 
held, made them mad ! Barrie, perhaps, forgave a prisoner 
for any trifling offence or a glaring breach, but never did he 
tolerate the sight of a book or a slate ! Savarkar cheered his 
co-sufferers by telling them the stories of heroes from the 
mythology and history. In jail not a scrap of paper was 
tolerated. A tiny piece of lead hidden in hair or in the cavity 
of mouth would amount to a crime and would bring severe 
punishment. The cell of Savarkar was raided even twic2 or 
thrice a week during the first six or seven years. Illegible 
writing on the walls was considered a wilful damage to Gov- 
ernment property. 

The task of educating his co-prisoners was difficult. At the 
beginning even the educated prisoners treated this new move 
with scant respect cind the illiterate fled from it. Pointing 
out the then confusion in New China due to want of constitu- 
tioned experts, and the disorderliness in new Iran for want of 
economists and accountants, Savarkar impressed upon the 
revolutionaries that for conducting a Government efficiently 
they should also have Gokhales, Dutts or Sir Madhavraos 
among them having mastery over the knowledge of Constitu- 
tional Law, Science of Economics and Politics. In their 
present lot they could do nothing better than store this 
knowledge in order to equip themselves better for the future 
work, struggle and action, as some of them were short-termed 
prisoners and would soon be free. For Savarkar held that 
knowledge without action was lame and action without 
knowledge was bhnd. To him knowledge that did not issue 
in any tangible action was like a tree without fruit ! 

Savarkar fought out the problem of books despite the opposi- 
tion of Barrie and ultimately secured the Superintendent’s 
permission to store books. It was mutually arranged that 
every prisoner should ask his relative to send books at a 
particular time so that every month they received a parcel of 
new books. Still Barrie would have his say. He blackened 
some pages or tore away those pages of the books which he 
considered objectionable. *1116 idea of a library appealed to 


European officers also and they deposited their books in the 
library. Some prisoners were entrusted with the work of 
maintaining the library. At first the criminals avoided Bade 
Babu’s (as Savarkar was called by them) literacy campaign. 
Soon some of them saw its utility and joined ; others who fled 
from him were sometimes awarded scholarships, in the 
currency of the Andamans, a pinch of tobacco, and were won 
over. The effect was visible. Many completed some course 
and were appointed Munshis — clerks. Criminals abated in 
their fury and became more docile. They read religious books 
with great devotion. Many leaimt to read papers and when 
they could do so their joy knew no bounds ! 

V/ith the growth of the literacy movement the library also 
began to gicw. It swelled with complete works of Spencer, 
Shakespeare, Mill, Vivekananda, Ramkrishna ; great works of 
Gibbon, Emerson, Macaulay, Carlyle, Tolstoy, Nietszche, 
Rousseau, Voltaire and Tagore. The Library also contained 
Plato's Rrptihlic, Thomas Moor’s Utopia, Rousseau’s Contract, 
Wilson’s State, works of Great Mahratta and Bengali Poets ; 
Bengali, Hindi, Marathi Weeklies and Monthlies ; Modern 
Review and Indian Review’. It was in the Andamans that 
Savarkar drank deep at the fountain of Bengali literature. 
Though he composed a poem on the Nobel Prizeman, 
Ral)indranath Tagore, he was of opinion that Bankimchandra, 
Roy and Madhusudan were equally great in sweep, imagina- 
tion and rhythm. 

But the books that appealed to him most were Yogavashistha 
and the Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis. The spell of 
the latter was so irresistible that he gladly received it as a 
gift from a European officer on his return journey from the 
Indian Bastille. The energy and patience of Savarkar were 
inexhaustible ! Savarkar taught the criminals and his 
colleagues with the endurance, insistence and love of a loving 
teacher. To some of the dull criminals he had to give the 
alphabetic lesson for over twenty times before his perseverance 
could boar fruit. The criminals read religious books and 
newspapers wdth great interest. Everyone was now anxious 
to secure nows about Hindusthan and making propaganda 
for her cause ! At the time of Savarkar’s departure the 
library contained about 2,000 books. The object of the 


campaign was fulfilled. The cent per cent illiteracy amongst 
the convicts was changed into sixty per cent literacy when 
Savarkar left the Andamans. 

But none of his propagandistic moves aroused so vigorous 
an opposition and such widespread misunderstanding as did 
his great efforts for investing Hindi with the importance of 
the Lingua Franca of India. That Hindi should be the Lingua 
Franca of India was one of the important creeds of the Abhi- 
nava Bharat. The Abhinava Bharat had declared this times 
without number. Savarkar struggled hard to imprint upon the 
minds of his colleague.? and co-prisoners the importance of 
Hindi. Struggle, storm, sparks, conviction and spell are the 
characteristics of Savarkarian movements. They are the fate 
of evex'y pioneer, precursor and prophet. Savarkar appealed 
to his colleagues to call for books on Hindi. He taught them 
Hindi. He insisted that every prisoner should learn his main 
provincial language and Hindi as the national language. 
Madrasis and Bengalis were averse to it and adversely 
criticised Savarkar’s stand. They even suspected that 
Savarkar wanted to kill their mother-tongues under the guise 
of a National Language. If somebody wished to bestow gifts 
in memory of the celebration of any good day or event, 
Savarkar persuaded him to give Hindi books. Savarkar 
answered his critics that he never persuaded any one to 
purchase Marathi books and asked them whether he wanted 
to kill Marathi also. Not less violent was the opposition from 
the British Officers. They knew Urdu and therefore they 
opposed the introduction of Hindi and Nagari and more so 
because it was a cause propagated by Savarkar. Hence they 
feared that either it would enormously increase his influence 
or would develop into a menace in some respects ! This 
latter suspicion was mooted and fomented by the Muslims in 
the Andamans too ! 

In this cause the Arya Samajists helped him, as Swami 
Dayananda, their prophet, was the first and foremost leader 
to champion the cause of Hindi with Nagari script, as the 
Lingua Franca of India. Dayananda wrote his books in Hindi. 
Savarkar’s respect for Dayananda was high. He got the 
Satyartha Prakash read by his colleagues and co-prisoners. He 
regarded the great work of Dayananda as a fearless and 


farmidable exposition that teaches and implants the noble 
ideals of Hindu culture, elucidating the importance of Hindu 
religion as the national religion of Hindusthan. Savarkar 
explained to his colleagues how Hindi had been the national 
tongue, an all-India language of the sadhus and merchants, 
princes and pilgrims from Rameshwar to Badrinath, from Puri 
to Dwarka ever since the days of Prithviraj. 

Before this the second language of the jail office of the 
Cellular Jail or the Andamans was Urdu and the posts of 
Munshis had been occupied by persons from Upper India who 
were educated in Urdu. Letters, reports and applications to 
and from the Andamans were written in Urdu ! After a long 
struggle Savarkar persuaded the prisoners to write their 
letters in the provincial languages or conveniently in Hindi 
and to write their complaints, answers, or applications in Hindi 
so that the necessity and urgency of Nagari-knowing Munshis 
should be felt increasingly. The effect was tremendous. 
Formerly ninety per cent of the letters from and to the 
Andamans were in Urdu, a few years after the arrival of 
Savarkar the tables were turned and the ratio was in the 
reverse order. Some distinguished prisoners from the Punjab, 
who had composed their poetry in Urdu, got themselves 
accustomed to the Nagari Hindi and re-wrote their poems in 
Hindi ! 

In the colony of free citizens this constant propaganda for 
Nagari and Hindi took root and the ceremonial invitation cards 
began to appear in Hindi. From the conversations of Hindus 
the similes and metaphors describing the Arabic environ- 
ments disappeared by and by. It has been Savarkar’s bold 
and constant stand for the last forty years that Urdu should 
be preserved for Muslims, but it should not be allowed to 
replace or dominate Hindi in any field on any account. The 
propaganda and importance of the Lingua Franca appealed 
even to the officers who were secretly tutored in Hindi. It was 
through Savarkar’s efforts and pressure that a Girls’ School 
was started in the colony but he could not annihilate the 
teaching of Urdu in Boys’ Schools as his departure came off 
suddenly ! Savarkar held that if the importance and future 
of the Andamans was to be increased usefully in reference to 
the safety and predominance of Hindusthan and Hindu 


ctilture, Hindi and Nagari should be made compulsory in the 

The significance of this farsighted move can now be imagin- 
ed and appreciated. Long before any leader of prominence 
ever since the days of Dayananda dreamt of its importance 
or entered the field, Savarkar was the only outstanding Hindu 
leader who strove in right earnest from 1906 to invest Hindi 
with the power and prestige of the National Language. On 
the vital problems of nation building he has been ever out- 
spoken, uncompromising and prophetic as none else could be. 
The Nagari Pracharini Sabha was, of course, toiling in the 
field, but slogans fail in the field, if guns are not in the fsjre- 
front. It was after forty-three years since the days of the 
Abhinava Bharat’s declaration that the nation accepted Hindi 
with the Devanagari script as the Lingua Franca of Free 
Hindusthan ! 


In the meantime troubles were coming to a head in the 
Andamans. The boldest among the prisoners resolved to 
launch upon a strike to vindicate their rights. The strike was 
marked by many incidents. Calm, sturdy and of good family, 
one Punjabi revolutionary was yoked to the oil-mill. Having 
worked till 10 a.m. he took his bath and meals calmly regard- 
less of the words of abuse poured by the petty officers to make 
him work. The situation grew rather intolerable. The pot- 
bellied jailer with the staff in his hand appeared on the scene. 
The prisoner told him that he was chewing his food scientific- 
ally. Barrie threatened him with punishment, but he did not 

Such rebellious prisoners were kept on rice-gruel, and in 
order to weaken the strength of their minds doses of quinine 
or some drastic purgative were forced down their throats. 
That tortured their physique and aggravated their agonies. 
Despite these insufferable tortures this valiant revolutionary 
did not yield. At last Barrie came to terms. After four days’ 
regular work he was relieved of the hard labour. As a result 
of this strike, the political prisoners were sent outside for 
work in deference to their demands. There they did some 


odd jobs, but one and all refused to draw carts of officers and 

re-asserted their dignity. 

Savarkar’s elder brother was one of the most unbending 
prisoners. The jailer and his dogs tried every method and 
measure to torture him. Unfortunately some maladies 
worsened the trouble. He was seized now and then with 
a splitting headache, typhoid and cholera, but not a drop of 
medicine was given to him. He groaned frightfully with pain. 
Still he was made to chop the shell of cocoanuts. In the 
closed cell he helplessly passed his watery motions upon the 
rubbish and threw it outside when the door opened. For 
such unavoidable breach he was often hung in hand-cuffs in 
a painful state, his bowels purging and his urine passing the 
while ! What man has made of man ! Yet this brave man 
of steel frame worked at the oil-mill with all his might and 
in spite of his agonies, but never did he yield to humiliation 
nor did he do a dishonourable act to purchase a sigh of relief. 
For good many days the two brothers were not allowed to 
have even a glimpse of each other. When Savarkar enquired 
of the officers about the severe illness of his elder brother he 
was told to speak for himself. They said rules forbade them 
to disclose his whereabouts to a prisoner or to speak about 
his health ! In the end secret sympathies worked and Babarao 
caught sight of his brother. Seeing his younger brother after 
years, he burst out: “Tatya, how do you happen to be 
here ? ” That direct query pierced Savarkar’s heart. He 
was about to speak, but the brothers were suddenly pulled 
asunder. Subsequently a secret note to his brother from 
Babarao lamented. “The belief that you were carrying on 
the fight for the liberation of our Motherland enlivened my 
heart and lightened my tortures. Who will carry on your 
work ? Your gifts and powers will now go to waste.” The 
reply from Savarkar went in a consolatory tone : “ My 
abilities and powers have stood the grim test. The glory of 
it is that what I preached I practised and fell fighting in the 
forefront. It is also a righteous duty to suffer tortures rotting 
in the cell with curses from those for whom we fell. For the 
achievement of the final victory, these sighs, sufferings and 
sacrifices in the cells are as necessary as is the fighting with 
the blare of the trumpets of ^ory.” 



To alleviate the tortxures and to blunt the edges of the cruel 
claws of the administration, the political prisoners headed by 
Savarkar, began to think out ways and means. It was neces- 
sary to bring pressure upon the administration from without. 
British officers who ruled in the land of Death depended upon 
each other for company and comforts. They played, they 
danced, they enjoyed themselves together and naturally their 
interests did not clash in the administration. Hence a com- 
plaint against one was never paid heed to by another ! It 
was, therefore, necessary that the leaders in India should know 
something of those terrible tortrires. But hov/ to bell the cat 
was the question. At last Hotilalji Varma dared and did it. 
His secret letter to Surendranath Banerjee giving the details 
of the jail life in general reached the Bengal leader ihrough 
secret channels. Surendranath published it in his 
under the signature of Hotilalji with the numbers of his id! 
and chawl ! It was a veritable bombshell. On hearing this 
Barrie ran to the cells like a man scorched by embeis. He 
roared at Hotilal : “ Stand up at once. You are a rank 
rascal,” said he in a voice of thunder. Barrie told Savarkar 
about the mischief of Hotilal and falsely added that the Press 
in which the Bengali was printed was confiscated. 

Everybody in the Andamans was always anxious to get a 
scrap of news about the happenings in the Motherland beyond 
the ocean. New-comers were, therefore, alway.s i cccived with 
utmost cordiality for the sake of news. News also filtered 
and was circulated through many other channels. A brave 
son of a great leader of the Punjab serving a term in a prison 
in the Punjab wrote a letter to Savarkar on the back of 
the ticket of a convict. The fellow brought it to Savarhar 
undetected. Sources of foreign news were the rubbish papers 
at the water closets of the British officers, old soiled wrapping 
papers of pins, nails and other articles. Many prisoners lost 
their privilege of working outside the jail for bringing in 
pieces of newspapers but the news agency worked unabated. 
Political prisoners secretly shared their bread with those 
devoted and daring messengers. Barrie gaped and was 
dumbfounded to know the futility of suppressing news. He 
often told the superintendent that even if the devil was 
appointed jailer it would be impossible for him to stop news 


going to those bomb-throwers. Sometimes on his night 
rounds Barrie heard messages transmitted by the political 
prisoners to one another from one end of the jail to the other 
through some peculiar sounds of the chains. If at all the 
illiterate warders suspected something, the political prisoners 
told the warders that they were muttering prayers in their 
mind to the tune of chains ! This Andaman’s wireless was 
introduced in Nagari by Babarao Savarkar. 

With the same heartlessness Barrie once informed Savarkar 
that his friend Hardayal was due to come to the Andamans. 
After many secret anxious inquiries Savarkar learnt that 
Hardayal had, in fact, given a slip to the Government of 
U.S.A. Barrie also once told Savarkar that his brother 
Narayanrao was expected in the Andamans as a result of 
the bomb thrown at Lord Hardinge in Delhi ! The word 
Savarkar was synonymous with sedition and sedition became 
synonymous with Savarkar ! Even the Chief Commissioner 
told Savarkar that he had met Babu Surendranath Banerjee 
on board the steamer and the latter had inquired after the 
health of Savarkar. Savaikar had nothing but high regard 
for Surendranath Banerjee. He paid tributes to the 
imcrowned king of Bengal for the word of encouragement he 
sent through a German Military Officer-prisoner and the 
sympathy and help he rendered to the patriots in the cellular 

In 1911 there were rumours afloat in the Andamans that all 
political prisoners were to be released in memory of the Delhi 
Dvwbar. Expectations became rife ; rumours rained. Though 
sceptical of his release, a wave of sensation passed through 
Savarkar’s body when he heard everyone saying, “Barrister 
Babu, you are to be released.” The day dawned. Excepting 
Savarkar and a Bengali political prisoner all were given 
remission of a month per year. All that Savarkar got was 
potato-rice. And the cells were again enveloped in utter 

At times when in good humour Barrie would of him.tiplf 
break shocking news to Savarkar. One day in 1915 Barrie 
told Savarkar that G. K. Gokhale was dead. Savarkar paid 
glowing tributes to the memory of the great patriot. Hearing 
the glowing tributes paid by Savarkar to the selfless service 


and profound patriotism of Gokhale, Barrie was talfAii aback 
and he noted in his diary that though the Maharashtrians 
differed outwardly they were one at heart ! Hardayalji had 
the same experience about Mahratta leaders. 

Savarkar was very anxious to know if India had made any 
progress with the royal event. He learnt that the settled 
fact was unsettled ; the partition of Bengal was annulled. 
Savarkar was happy and said to his colleagues : “ Once a 
man is convinced that quinine roots out Malaria, he will take 
it whenever he gets an attack of Malaria.” The capital of 
India was about to be transferred to Delhi as foretold by 
Savarkar, but he said that from the standpoint of liistory, 
culture, politics and geography, Ujjain should be the proper 
place for the capital of India. December 23, 1912, was the 
day for the transfer of the capital from Calcutta to Delhi. 
The state entry of Lord Hardinge, the Governor-General of 
India, in oriental splendour, was greeted with a terrific bomb 
at the famous Chandni Chowk. Lord Hardinge was wounded 
while riding in the silver Howdah upon an elephant. The 
man behind Hardinge who held the state umbrella was killed. 
Hardinge fainted from loss of blood and his wounds took some 
months to heal. It seemed that the royal proclamation could 
not pacify the revolutionaries. They were grappling as 
before with the British power for the liberation of the Mother- 

Among the most heroic sufferers in the Andamans that put 
up a brave fight to undermine the rigid and rapacious jail 
administration of the Cellular Jail and to break the speU of 
terror was one Indu Bhushan Roy. Stout, sturdy and spirited, 
he was sentenced to transportation for 10 years in the Manik- 
tola case. Indu Bhushan soon fell ill and was thrown into his 
cell. And instead of giving medicine, Barrie yoked him to 
the oil-mill. With deadly pale face, Indu walked with great 
effort and great pain. Savarkar tried to console him by 
bringing his own severest lot to his attention and cheered him 
up. But to no purpose. Next morning Indu Bhushan was 
a stiff block, his tongue drawn out, his legs hanging loosely. 
Barrie hushed up the note which Indu had suspended on his 
chest and stated that Indu’s death was the outcome of in- 
sanity. Savarkar challenged this statement and persisted in 



f alling Barrie that it was an outcome of the extreme physical 
hardships of jail life. Upendranath Banerjee of Alipore case 
was also harnessed to the oil-mill. His whole frame ached and 
his mental condition grew so much pitiable that a sympathetic 
word would move him to tears. Ullaskar Dutt of Alipore 
case whom the judge described as a noblest youth was a witty, 
fearless and good-hearted type of humanity. When he was 
tortured with electric shocks, Ullaskar moaned, raved and 
pitieously groaned. He was then transferred to the mental 
hospital and thence to Madras and was afterwards released. 

After the tragedy of Ullaskar, Barrie asked Savarkar when 
he would go mad. Savarkar replied angrily, “ Perhaps after 
you go mad ! ” At this juncture a note from Savarkar dis- 
cussing the policy of an immediate strike was seized and 
Savarkar was punished by putting him in standing hand-cuffs. 
Crook as he was, Barrie managed to get Savaikar’s note in 
Modi read by a Bengali as if it were written in Bengali ! 
Savarkar appealed to the Superintendent to look into the 
truth and see whether the chit was in Bengali. The truth 
came out and Barrie was severely reprimanded. The second 
time Savarkar was hung in hand-cuffs was for his note asking 
somebody to bring news. Barrie unkindly joked with Savar- 
kar in standing hand-cuffs, “ What is this about ? ” 

“ Postage ! ” replied Savarkar. “ It has rather cost you much,” 
said Barrie. Savarkar answered back pungently, "Not at 
all ! In your you have to pay subscription for news- 
papers plus postage. We get news free of subscription. Only 
this sort of postage we have to pay half-yearly or so ! ” 

The third in the line of martyrs was Nani Gopal, a Bengali 
revolutionary of good family. As he was yoked to the oil- 
mill, he gave up all work, observed silence, abandoned jail 
apparel, and gave up food. The Superintendent decided to flog 
him. Savarkar warned Barrie that if they shed his blood 
the revolutionaries would definitely retaliate. MAanfimp , 
thrilling news about Indu Bhushan and Ullaskar appeared in 
the Indian press. The officers were alarmed. Consequently 
there was a sudden roimd-up in the Andamans. Rumours 
had it that the revolutionaries were planning to bomb the 
Cellular Jail ! Strict measures were adopted. Thorough 
search was taken in every cell and in the settlement also. 



Free people and prisoners alike were harassed. Bar-fetters, 
hand-cuffs, standing hand-cuffs, penal diet, solitary confine- 
ment and all sorts of punishments were imposed. Savarkar 
was told that he would never be allowed to work outside, 
though according to rules he ought to have been released long 
ago from the Cellular Jail to settle on the island. It was 
certified that his conduct was exemplary, but his past was 
dangerous ! ! 

Barrie was now wild with rage. He ordered all poUtical 
prisoners not to speak in English as he thought their talk in 
English raised them high in the eyes of the ordinary criminals. 
At once a rebel rose and said in Hindi that because the jailer 
asked questions in English they answered in English and 
added that political prisoners were not so much enamoured 
of Enghsh. He further retorted : “ It is true that we have 
not become one with the English tongue and shamelessly 
enough forgotten our language. Look at our jailer, he is an 
Irishman, but does not know a word of his mother-tongue ! ” 
Barrie was scandalized. In a fit of paroxysm he bragged out : 
“ You Indians, you are our slaves.” A bold voice shot back, 
“ Your slaves ! What are you ? You are a child of a slave 
of the British Empire. We are slaves of the British Elmpire 
and not yours ! Moreover, we have been striving at the risk 
of our necks to overthrow the foreign yoke while you are 
calling that empire your own, the empire which has enslaved 
your Motherland and what is worse, you are living on the 
crumbs of loaf that are thrown before you ! ” Upon this all 
the prisoners burst into shrieks of uncontrollable laughter to 
the great scandal of the jailer ! The order was changed imme- 
diately. He ordered the political prisoners not to speak again 
in Hindi ! 

The protests in the press, the questions in the Imperial 
Council, the growing volume of public opinion and the thril- 
ling stories of the Cellular Jail brought pressure upon the 
Government of India and the Home Member, Sir Reginald 
Craddock, paid a visit to the Andamans in 1913. Some selected 
political prisoners were called for interview. A few were told 
that they deserved a more grievous fate. Others were told 
that their past was dangerous. The interview with Savarkar 
took a shrewd turn. 


Craddock ; Savarkar, what a pitiable condition you have 
thrown yourself in. I have read your writings. If your 
intellectual powers had worked in the proper direction, 
any highest post of authority in India would have been 
conferred upon you. But you chose this line ! 

Savarkar ; But it is up to you now to save me these tribu- 
lations. I learn Gokhale’s Bill demanding compulsory 
education has come up for consideration in the Council. 
If such opportunities are offered to us, almost all from 
our fold will prefer peaceful methods. 

Craddock : How do you know that ? Do you also know 
the whereabouts of your comrades and lieutenants ? 

Savarkar : How can I ? I am here in a solitary cell. But 
we know each other’s views. It is a sin to follow the path 
of violence when it is possible to make progress in a 
peaceful way. Such were my views when we worked in 
the revolutionary camp. Such were theirs. Perhaps they 
may be thinking likewise. 

Craddock : Not at all ! They are still proclaiming the 
battle cry in your name in India and in America. 

Savarkar ; I know about it from you. How can I prevent 
them from using my name ? 

Craddock : We will consider the advisability if you are 
prepared to write to them about your present views. 

Savarkar : Of course, I shall willingly do it. But that 
letter must be written by me independently, otherwise it 
will be of no use ! 

Craddock : The letter must go through us ! 

Savarkar : Then it will mean to them that it was an 
extraction ! 

Craddock : We can’t allow it. 

Savarkar : I can’t help it. 

Craddock (staring a bit) : Well then, what are your 
grievimces ? 

Savarkar began to tell the tale of trials. The Chief Com- 
missioner intervened. “ But you aU have conspired and acted 
dangerously. If Russians had ruled India, they would have 
transported you to Siberia or shot you dead.” He added that 
political prisoners should be grateful to the British Govern- 
ment for having treated them so considerately. 



Savabkar : In that case the Russians would not have dis- 
armed us. Peoples of Siberia can be generals. Had it 
been possible for us to bear arms, the story of the over- 
throw of the Mogul empire would have been repeated ! 

CKADDOCac : What if you had rebelled against the ancient 
Indian Kings. They would have trampled you under the 
feet of elephants. 

Savarkar : They would have ! In days gone by in Eng- 
land a man was also dragged along the street for commit- 
ting theft and was beheaded. But it is not so now. The 
thing is that this advanced stage is the result of the efforts 
of both the camps. If rebels were trampled under ele- 
phant's feet, they also, when successful, used to behead 
a king like Charles I. Times are changed. Both camps 
have improved their methods ! It is a sign of progress. 
You frankly tell us that you are not guided by any rules 
and we will prepare ourselves for that also ! 

Craddock came and went. Yet, Nani Gopal had not taken 
food. Forty-five days had glided by. Some political prisoners 
went on a sympathetic fast and thus the third strike began. 
Savarkar awaited his home letter, but it was not handed over 
to him as Dr. Savarkar had written to him that Keir Hardie 
had compared Irish and Indian revolutionaries in his speech 
in Parliament and remai'ked that ‘ British Government had 
harshly crushed Savarkar.’ Savarkar knew this through his 
secret source and then joined the strike. From the first he 
was averse to a hunger strike and wasting energy. But Nani 
Gopal’s life was in danger. He, therefore, declined to take 
food and asked for an interview with Nani Gopal. Nani Gopal 
and Savarkar were allowed to meet. Nani Gopal broke his 
fast when he knew that Savarkar had gone on a sympathetic 
fast. Mirzakhan, the notorious pocket edition of Barrie, 
proudly told Savarkar that Nani was a brave disciple of 
Savarkar and his courage befitted a Pathan and not a Hindu ! 
Savarkar answered in a Savarkarian way. He said, “Had 
Nani been a Pathan he would have like a fawning dog licked 
the dust at the feet of Barrie ! The fact is that had all the 
Pathans been brave and all the Hindus not brave, your Pathan 
or Mogul Empire would not have been .smashed by the 
Hindus ! ” 


The years rolled by and at last came the news that the 
Government of India had decided to bring back the termed 
convicts to Indian jails. Those undergoing life terms were to 
be released from jail to settle on the island, if their conduct 
was satisfactory. While in prison they were to be given better 
class food and clothes and after five years they were to bo 
allowed to cook their own food with a little money to easen 
their life ! 

Thus pressure from without and struggle from within 
slackened the rigours and rigid rules of the Deathland ! 


Genius Thrives in Jail 


In his utter helplessness and colossal frustration of life 
Savarkar was striving superhumanly to wring some good 
out of it. A true ascetic and man of action as he was, he 
resolved to make the most of life and to make the best of it. 
Such men of supreme courage and indomitable mil make 
appearance from age to age. Stone walls do not imprison 
them, nor do iron bars encage them. Their angelic souls rise 
above and soar. Their life is real. Earnestness is its breath. 
The grave is not its goal. Their souls are indestructible. A 
cruel thread of destiny was weaving and tightening round the 
neck of Savarkar. Despite the horrible and indescribable 
agonies, his genius throve in jail. 

Ever since his childhood, when he was quite ignorant of 
what an epic was like, Savarkar had a mind to compose an 
epic on ‘ Panipat ^ but, being a poet of action, he could not 
find time for this great work. He seized this opportunity 
and almost achieved his goal. And this marvellous feat was 
performed in the dark Andamans where reading and writing 
was a crime. He had no paper, nor had he pencil. In prison 
life philosophy is the ultimate refuge of a troubled soul. And 
we know how all distinguished political prisoners of world 
fame wrote famous histories, autobiographies, works on 
philosophy and other kind of great works. 

John Bimyan wrote his immortal Pilgrim's Progress^ Thomas 
Moor wrote his Utopia, Sir Walter Raleigh, his History of the 
world, Tilak, his Gita Rahasya, Hitler, his Mein Kampf, and 
Nehru, his Autobiography and Glimpses of World History. 
Fortimately all these eminent men were supplied with writing 
and reading facilities. But Savarkar was the only eminent poli- 
tical prisoner of world fame who composed some ten thousand 
and odd lines of poetry of great imagination and of great 
thought, wrote them on the prison walls with thorns and 


pebbles, learnt them by heart secretly, and astounded the 
imagination of the world, giving an ocular proof of how the 
Vedas have been handed down ever since the childhood of 
civilization ! Just imagine the unbending tenacity and undying 
will power of a young man undergoing a sentence for half- 
a-century, who, while hanging in handcuffs during the punish- 
ment hours of jail life, recited, revised and learnt by heart 
his poems. Add to this, his untiring energy and ingenuity in 
making the wild criminals and devotional colleagues learn 
some of those poems by heart. After their release they went 
to Savarkar’s brother, Dr. N. D. Savarkar, and recited them 
dutifully and faithfully for reproduction. 

Savarkar is a term s5monymous with patriotism in the 
domain of Indian politics and poetry. The parent thought of 
his poetry is the worship of the Goddess of Freedom. He 
sings : — 

We dedicated to thee our thoughts 

Our speech, our eloquence to thee. Oh Mother ! 

My lyre sang of thee alone and 

My pen wrote of thee alone, Oh Mother ! 


For thy sake death is life 
Without thee life is death. 


O Mother, who will dare insult thee in the world 
We will give thee bath of his blood. 


Even so this our Motherland craving the assistance 
Of the Lord that she too be rescued from the crocodile 
Clutches of Bondage enters our Garden, plucks 
A fresh flower from the bough and offers 
It at His feet in worship. 


Deathless is the family that falls to a man, 

For the emancipation of its Motherland, 

Filling the skies with the fragrance of their sacrifice, 
Made in the welfare of Man’s rise. 


Abject slavery and crushing foreign yoke are the source of 
his note. Glorious past is its inspiration. Patriotism is its 
song, Swaraj its aim and Humanity its goal. His poems and 
ballads have enchanted and in.spired numerous patriots, and, 
though suppressed by Government, were secretly circulated 
from sire to son. No other Bharatiya poet except Valmiki, 
Vyas and the great poets Chand and Bhushan— the latter pair 
sang the declining glory of the Rajputs— has sung of glorious 
victories of the Hindus, Hindu life, history and culture so 
immensely and epically as Savarkar has done. No other 
modern Hindu iwet has preached and ])ropagated love for 
Swaraj and Swadharma so intensely, fervently and stirringly 
as Savarkar has done. Savarkar represents an admirable 
combination of the valour of Veer Arjun and the poetic genius 
of Veda Vyas ! 

Sri G. T. Madkholkar, an eminent Mahratta literary critic, 
describes Savarkar as a poet who rivals Kalidas in the use of 
similes, a poet on the war path bristling with vigour, genius, 
learning and the lustre of the spear of the Mahratta warriors, 
who hammered the Mogul throne of Delhi to pieces and the 
sweetness of all the emotions of the Mahratta saint-poets who 
have raised this mortal world to the level of the abode of 
Vishnu. “ It is because of all this,” observes Madkholkar, 
“ that I make bold to say that Savarkar occupies the first and 
foremost place in the galaxy of Marathi poets.” 

According to Madkholkar, Savarkar is perhaps the only 
poet who has during the last thirty years made conscious 
efforts to inflame the urge for independence and the sense of 
self-respect by holding before the Hindus, who were deprived 
of their freedom, the grand picture of the ancient glory and 
the valiant deeds of the past. The reason why all of Savarkar’s 
literary productions have assumed such a fascinating and 
sublime quality is that Savarkar has so beautifully and 
lavishly made use of Vedic, epic and historical ideas in his 
poetry, plays and other works. Madkholkar concludes : “ In 
his poems he has strung together so many beautiful and 
sublime ideas about Hindu life, culture, philosophy, and 
history that in the poetry of no modern poet of the last 
hundred years can they ever be found.” 

Savarkar’s poetry has an autobiographical note and is 


subjective pav excellence. He is a poet of action, of great 
personal experience, of lofty imagination, of noble emotions, 
of great sincerity and of great personality. His poetry bears 
a unique charm. His is great poetry of rare thrill, epic 
sweep, sky-high range, and grand metre ! His thoughts 
breathe, his words burn. Though hurled from the siunmit 
of a mountain into the limitless ocean, or into the frying-pan, 
the undying soul of Savarkar, like Pralhad, survives and 
sings songs of God and Man. Himself a subject of an epic, 
he has produced an epic. Poet Savarkar belongs to the line 
of great poets. It is easy and safe for a poetical soul to sing 
mystic and vague songs of grand eternity, eyeless fraternity 
and aimless liberty at a time when his own kith and kin are 
ground under the heels of slavery and poverty. But it is given 
to a few poets of Savarkar’s nerve and mission to raise the 
fallen in revolt and to drive a slave country to a fight for 
freedom. The reward for the former class is some coveted 
prize. The prize for the latter cast is the rope ! Only the 
definite, daring and self-experienced poetry can soar in the 
realm of this inspired class. 

There are good poets in Marathi. But in the words of 
Dr. K. N. Watwe, Ph.D., and Acharya Atre, two foremost 
authorities on Sanskrit and Marathi Poetry respectively, even 
a dozen of that class would not together make one Savarkar. 
The difference between them and Savarkar is the difference 
between the simile and the metaphor. Some of them have 
repeated or expressed the thoughts of others, the sensations 
of others, the emotions of others. Savarkar has expressed 
his own emotions, his own sensations, his own thoughts. His 
style may, at some places, lack the ‘ correctitude ’ of strict 
school-masters and dry professors. In that Deathland he 
could not prune and polish it ! Yet, in personality, in sincerity, 
in style, and in prophetic vision, he is superior to them all. 
In greatness of sweep, in loftiness of imagination, in the gift 
of prophetic vision, he scarcely yields to the great ones of 
world poetry. Take, for example, Savarkar’s magnum opus 
in poetry, the Kamala. His Kamala rivals in delineation and 
delicacy with Shakespeare’s Miranda or Shakuntala of 

Savarkar’s creative imagination is powerful and is ever on 



its wings. In the twinkling of an eye it perches on the tower 
of the universe. “ It surveys the royal procession of the Lord 
of the Universe marching in pomp and splendoxir. The ages 
are its miles and through the fi-iction of the wheels of His 
Chariot have sprung dusty .sparks that are shining as stars. 

In its pomp and splendour the procession is climbing down the 
path of Time. Tlie comets are its arrows, the solar system 
is the row of fireworks going on. Sun.s and Moons are torches 
and Life if' its energy ! To Savarkar’s lofty imagination the 
whole universe is the image of God. Shiva. The limitless sky 
is its hair and in it are the Moon and the It'Iilky Way 1 

Savarkar compares lotuses in water to hali-nude Gopikas 
bewitched by Krishna, bathing in the Yamuna. To him 
Kamala, the heroine in liis long Poem, looks as fascinating in 
a porched sofa as does a simile in the poetry of Kalidas. He 
describes her beauty in a marvellous simile. To him Kamala 
looks like the sweet dawn between fading moonlight and 
blooming of the day. To him at dawn stars look like the 
frozen drops of dew. He calls the butterfly an agent of the 
God of Love or Cupid that flies from flower to flower 
transporting kisses. Flowers are the imprints of kisses taken 
by the watchman of the nymphs who enter the garden secretly. 
In his famous Ballad on Sinhagad, the sea, the mother of gems, 
envies the lot of the eairth because it has sheltered the 
invaluable jewel Tanaji, who fell fighting on the Kondana 

What great, grand and good poetry ! The wonder of it 
is that it blossomed in the wild Andamans ! The collection 
of his poems are aptly named as “ Wild Flowers.” These 
flowers have not met with world-wide appreciation for want 
of an agency that would distribute these flowers among the 
appreciating public of the world at large. Though complete 
in themselves, “ Kamala,” “ Gomantak,” “ Saptarshi,” “ Vira- 
hochhvas ” “ Mahasagara ” are parts of the incomplete epic. 
His other poems, “ Chain,” “ Cell,” “ Chariot festival of Lord 
Jagannath,” “ Oh Sleep,” and “ On Death Bed ” have a 
philosophical basis. These poems shed a searchlight on the 
innermost comer of the heart of Savarkar who loves entire 
secession from worldly affairs and who is in his heart of hearts 
an ascetic loving a retired and contemplative life intent on 


soul-contemplation ! To Savarkar engrossed in such soul- 
contemplation the very Shanivar Wada, the perennial source 
of political inspiration, is a heap of stones ! But the world 
around has not reached that divine stage of viewing things 
through such an angle! Peoples are crying for food, 
freedom, and faith. The worldly man comes out and 
he is Savarkar, the revolutionary realist ! Did the great 
Shankaracharya study modern science and world and make 
his reappearance in Bharat Varsha ? 

Hence it is cleai- that Savarkar’s outlook on life is that of 
an ascetic moving in great events. Love of action and not 
renunciation of action has become the predominant and 
positive note of his life and literature. His views on the 
Vedant philosophy are ever to be remembered. He writes 
from the Andamans to his brother : “ The Americans need 
Vedanta philosophy and so does England, for they have 
developed their life to that fulness, richness and manliness — 
to Kshatriyahood and so stand on the threshold of that 
Brahminhood, wherein alone the capacity to read and realize 
such philosophy can co-exist. But India is not. We are at 
present all Shudras and can’t claim access to the Vedas and 
Vedanta. . . . We, as a nation, are unfit for these sublime 
thoughts, for it is well known that Bajirao II was a great 
Vedantist and that is why, perhaps, he could not see the 
difference between a kingdom and a pension. Let us study 
history, political science, science, economy ; live worthily in 
this world, fulfil the householders’ duties and then the 
philosophic dawn might come.” 

To him life on this earth is like a three petalled flower. One 
is coloured with pleasure, the second with the colour of pain, 
the third mixed or colourless. Now the petal of pleasure and 
then that of pain gets warmed and thus this vain round of 
recurrence goes on. According to him the true picture of the 
world is one wherein a tigress with a piece of of deer 
in its mouth is suckling its babe, a picture of pity 
and cruelty. Savarkar is not a bloodthirsty man. He is 
guided by the noble precept laid down by Lord Krishna : “ Do 
unto others as thou wouldst be done by.” He says he was a 
revolutionary under necessity and not by inherent choice. 
He sincerely abhors absolute violence. Where is the man 


who would run the ordeals of fire or would tread the paths of 
furies with bleeding feet for sheer amusement, he asks. He 
is a man who always fights for a just and righteous cause, lor 
the protection of the good and for the destruction of the 
evil-doers. “ For it was this very principle,” he states, ” that 
humanity was a higher patriotism that made us so restless 
when we saw that a part of it should aggrandise and swell 
like a virulent cancer in such wise as to threaten the life of 
the human whole, and forced us. for want of any other 
effective remedy, to take to the surgeon’s knife and feel that 
severity for the moment would certainly lie mercy in the long 
run.” He says in his poem, “ On Death Bed ” : “If ever 1 
deemed it legitimate to have recourse to the exceptional swift 
and severe rules of emergency, it w'a.s only because duty led 
me and my generation into circumstances so abnormal and 
urgent as to render them indispensable in the interest of 
righteousness itself.” Duty for the sake of duly ! And he 
interpreted that duty of man. He says : “ Though the wise 
men, priests and sooth-sayers speak differently and in diverse 
accents, yet whatever conduces to the progress of Man, 
whatever contributes to the greatest good of the human soul 
and had been approved by the pious and the pure that alone 
I took to be the Duty of Man.” 

Death had no horrors for Savarkar. He said that he had 
paid the debt of the Motherland by facing the furious fire, 
getting himself consumed bone by bone and flesh by flesh, 
that he had paid the debt of God by fighting under ‘His 
Banner,’ that he had adopted the Abhinava Bharat to continue 
the line of his family. He realized the kinship with all that 
breathed in the Universe and at times was so overpowered 
with a sense of Universal sympathy that his feet would get 
stuck to the spot lest he should trample to death under his 
feet some blades of grass, or worms. Often in his pensive 
mood he held the morsel in his hand, thinking that it contained 
seeds which were flesh and life striving to grow and enjoy 
the air they breathed. 

If he dies in despair, he says, he will not feel sorry for there 
is no end to one’s desires and ambitions. If the end of life is 
shifting to another life according to merits, he is confident 
that a good place will be reserved for him as he possesses the 


best testimonials from Lord Krishna himself that he served 
selflessly for the cause of Man, God and Country. If life is 
to disintegrate into fragments and atoms, death will be to him 
a sound sleep in that case ; or let those atoms, he says, forget 
themselves and let the ‘ I ’ in him disappear into the Universal 
oneness ! 

Yet one more point is to be noted about Savarkar, the poet. 
He has introduced blank verse metre called ‘ Vainayak ’ into 
Marathi poetry. The Anushtubha metre of the Ramaxja7ia 
and the Mahahharata fame, Milton’s blank verse metre which 
poet Madhusudan of Bengal has popularized in Bengal, 
charmed him exceedingly in his school and Andaman days. 

The romanticism in Savarkar’s poetry has been properly 
bridled by a sense of realism, a love of service and sacrifice, 
and a goal of universalism. His head is towering up in the 
Universe, his mind weighing good and bad, and his eyes 
watchful for the greatest good of Man. Front-rank critics 
and great ones of Marathi literature from N. C. Kelkar 
to G. T. Madkholkar, from Daji Nagesh Apte to P. K. Atre, 
all have paid glowing tributes to his genius and have been 
fascinated by the flights of Savarkar’s imagination conveying 
great and good thoughts ! 


In the Andamans Savarkar had ample tune to philosophize 
his political theories and theorise his political philosophy. His 
thoughts, reading and experience evolved into a definite 
ideology. The seeds of his ideology took firm root and 
sprouted into a tree. The decrease in the population of the 
Hindus and the consequent danger to Hindusthan by the rise 
of rival and ahen proselytizing faiths absorbed his mind. In 
Europe people belong to one religion. There strife is between 
races for predominance and domination. In India it is a 
question of rival religions, where kidnapping and conversion 
are ostensibly done in the name of religion to strengthen a 
rival faith. The danger Savarkar scented was clear, straight, 
and tremendous. 

Though the British Government had to resort to a policy of 
non-interference in religious affairs, they were in a way not 
inclined to curb the proselytizing activities of the Muslims. 


Mosques, markets, habitats of Muslim robbers and the prison 
houses had been free fields for the conversion of the Hindus. 
Whenever news came to Savarkar about the conversion of 
a Hindu lad or a prisoner, he was restless and he turned his 
mind devotedly to the serious threat, outwardly a religious 
but inwardly a crucial problem o! national importance and 

Mmost all Indian jails having Hindu prisoners by majority, 
the authorities naturally would appoint non-Hindus to watch 
and control the prisoners. Hence Muslims easily rose to the 
posts of petty officers and havaldars and warders. And those 
Pathans, to quote the verdict of the Cardew Conomission, 

‘ enjoyed a bad pre-eminence as the active agents in the matter 
of unnatural vices.’ They turned these opportunities to bad 
account and harassed and forced Hindu convicts to embrace 
Islam. The revolutioneuries in the Cellular Jail were almost 
exhausted due to their great efforts in agitation and action in 
India and sufferings in the Andamans. In those hard, helpless, 
and hopeless days none of them desired to aggravate their 
hard lot by opposing the religious fanaticism of the wicked 
and vile Pathan petty officers. Obviously from fear some of 
them tried unworthily to cloak their cowardice with a display 
of great tolerance and broad-mindedness. It mattered little to 
those progressive men whether that vile and fallen lot of 
wretched Hindus remained in or went out of their fold and 
field ! ‘ Let it be so,’ summed up their social, individual and 

mental psychology. What was worse, some even miserably 
passed days, giving the Muslim warders high hopes of their 

Suffering for a nation’s welfare is a public and personal 
duty. Savarkar was doing it in jail. Why this additional 
burden ? But then a report of a conversion of a Hindu or 
an injustice done to a prisoner would inflame him. Like a 
lion helpless in a cage, he restlessly fluttered over the insult 
and injustice done to the racial, national, or religious soul. 
So with curses on his head, cares in his heart, burden on Ids 
back and troubles under his feet, he resolved to put a stop 
to the conversion activities of the Muslims. 

With that aim in view he began to shake off the passivity in 
the Hindus, activise their efforts, change their tone and 


tendencies, moxild them into an organism alive to every injury, 
and make them masters of their fate and land. To the broad- 
minded and wiseacres he asked as to why the non-Hindus 
tried to win over to their fold that base, wicked, corrupt lot of 
dangerous drunkards and murderers. They said the Muslims 
were fanatic and with them reason did not weigh. Well, why 
did these cool and cultured Europeans use the hoe of gold 
for removing that mud in Indian villages, woods and valleys ? 
Indeed, to fertilize their lands of influence with the manure ! 
Savarkar asked his colleagues why tliose Westerners polluted 
their holy religion by that vile and worthless lot of humanity ? 
Why should the Missionaries and Maulavies render service 
or offer food and shelter as a price for religion and never 
from a humanitarian angle ? If the ulterior motive of these 
Missionaries and Maulanas was that their religion and 
interests should dominate the world, then let the Hindus have 
the freedom to serve Humanity in their own way. Let the 
Hindus aim at increasing their numerical strength to fight 
their struggle for existence and material well-being. Thus 
went forth his chain of arguments. 

Savarkar impressed upon the minds of his colleagues that 
it was not a fact that a vicious man necessarily gave birth to 
vicious men. New Australia and Canada had sprung up from 
such vile and base elements thrown away from their mother 
countries. He reminded them that the Ramayana, one of the 
best epics of the world, was given to the world by Vahniki, 
a man fallen in early life. Losing one man was losing 
numerous future families and increasing the numerical 
strength of the rival faiths in India ! 

Allured by comforts, enticed by passion, baited by vices and 
dreaded by tortures, a few Hindu prisoners in the Andamans 
were driven into the fold of Islam. The jail administration 
did not take these conversions seriously. One day it became 
known to Savarkar that a Hindu boy was on the verge of 
conversion. When the superintendent came on his rounds, 
Savarkar cried out, “ Application, Sir ! ” The Superintendent 
asked him to see and speak for himself. Savarkar tauntingly 
asked him whether the Superintendent had ordered the other 
prisoners also, who caught their letters or trapped the 
revolutionaries, to mind their own business. Savarkar said 

GBNxu riiaxvxs xn jail 129 

angrily that he would n ike a complaint ; let him hear or not. 
The Superintendent toned down. He tiien informed the 
Superintendent about the likely conversion. The Superin- 
tendent asked him as to why the EUndus did not convert 
Muslims instead of making complaints against them. 
Savarkar stated that Hinduism was a non-proselytizing 
religion. He told the officer that Hinduism was based on the 
noblest possible principles. To Hindiis, he said, religion was 
not like the colour of the chameleon. He concluded : “ It is 
their received and noble belief that all the religions of the 
world are at the bottom one and have the same aim, i*amely 
the welfare of in nanity. The Hindus never look upon 
religion as a > of wordly strength and social solidarity. 

That is in ny opimon thair fundamental blunder from the 
point of view of national strength and solidarity.” The 
Superintendent understood Savarkar ’s stand well. He asked 
Savarkar what he expected the authorities to do. Savarkar 
stated that no prisoner should be converted to any other 
religion by fraud, force, deception, or enticement without the 
knowledge and consent of the jail authorities, who on their 
part should certify the bona fides of every case. He added 
that all minors should be brought up in their parents’ faith 
until they were able to judge the things for themselves. The 
Superintendent agreed. And while departing he rated the 
Pathan warder who was about to execute the conversion in 

The boy in question was saved, but the Hindu prisoners 
would not allow him to sit in their file for meals. He sat 
beside Savarkar. So they called Savarkar Bhangi Babu. 
In the end Savarkar persuaded some of them to discard that 
suicidal attitude and by and by the Shuddhi spirit came to 
stay. It was a great news all over the Andamans that 
Savarkar had stopped the conversion of a Hindu. Upon 
this some convicts, who had come across the creeds and 
propaganda of the Arya Samaj in India, were organized and 
with the help of some fearless and bullying prisoners, some 
prisoners were reconverted to Hinduism, their mother fold. 
Those Sanatanists who had called Savarkar Bhangi Babu now 
began to look at the problem from a new angle of vision, knew 
the value of solidarity and strength and the farsighted aim of 



Savarkar and supported him. Even a Christian of long 
standing was reconverted to Hinduism; later on several 
Mushm attempts were foiled by an eleventh-hour intervention 
or early precautions. The Muslims complained against 
Savarkar that he converted even born Muslims to Hinduism. 
Hindus realised now that Muslims could be converted to 
Hinduism. Muslim converts and warders reviled Savarkar 
incessantly, but were silenced by the turbulent Hindu 
convicts drilled in the art of railing. A new idea caught the 
imagination of the Hindus. They now learnt that no man 
lost his faith because he took food, drink and shelter outside 
his faith. The new-comers began to bear Hindu names, read 
Hindu scriptures and take meals with their co-religionists. 
Hindu temples in the colony were opened to them by and by. 
Formerly at the v'harf of Port Blair the Hindu prisoner- 
workers sometimes had to starve as they refused to take food 
from the bags mischievously touched by Muslims. Savarkar 
showed them their humiliating plight and suicidal foolishness 
and encouraged them to touch the bags of food first 
themselves. They did so and the Muslims, knowing the 
reaction and the double edge of the weapon, stopped the 
mischievous nonsense ! 

Despite the danger of personal violence, Barrie's intrigues 
and incitement against him and the threats of murder from 
Barrie’s lackeys, Savarkar could succeed in infusing an 
organic feeling among the Hindu prisoners and even catching 
the imagination of Hindus in the Colony. Once a Muslim 
ruffian incited by Barrie struck a blow on Babarao Savarkar’s 
head. Babarao bled profusely. Barrie rejoiced at the 
accident. Savarkar remarked : “ Where dreaded gallows 

failed to subdue the spirit of the Savarkars, can these goats 
ever succeed ? ” 

Just then the census hour struck and Savarkar persuaded 
the Arya Samagists and the Sikhs to record their caste and 
religion as Hindu or at least Hindu, with the words Arya or 
Sikh in the bracket. Ever since his London days Savarkar 
was thinking over a national definition of a ‘ Hindu ’ that 
would embrace all the folds of Hindus — the Sanatanists, the 
Sikhs, the Brahmos, the Arya Samajists and others. At last 
he, in a divine moment, composed his famous definition in a 


melodioTis couplet. According to it ‘ A Hindu means a person 
who regards this land of Bharat- Varsha from the Indus to the 
Seas as his Fatherland as well as his Holyland, that is the 
cradle land of his religion.’ That definition he developed and 
brought out in a thesis after his transfer from the Andamans 
to the Ratnagiri Jail. The chaos and confusion created by 
nearly fifty current definitions of the word Hindu including 
the one made by Tilak, which v/as frankly religious, were 
brought politically, sociallj^ religiously in order, method, 
historic perspective and scientific thought. This definition of 
the word Hindu by Savarkar is held by many as the greatest 
contribjition to Hindu thought, history and polity. 

Savarkar holds that Shuddhi — reconvei'sion — solidifies and 
strengthens the Hindu Society. He asks the Hindus to shed 
inferiority complex and the idea of contamination by non- 
Hindus in respect of food, water, .shelter and touch so that 
there should be less cause for friction and fight between 
Hindus and Muslims ; because the Muslims being deprived 
of their throne and sword, the only means that remained for 
them was rationalism. He is of the opinion that every one 
should be allowed to propagate the cause and mission of his 
religion by a rational and peaceful way. He never hated 
the Muslims because they belonged to a different religion. 
He abhorred the aggressive, unjust and wild designs of the 
Moslems and Missionaries. Ej:cepting those points, Savarkar 
fought for all prisoners alike and the facilities wrested were 
enjoyed by Muslims too. 

When a few years after Savarkar was appointed foreman 
in charge of the oil-mill work, he never harassed the Muslim 
prisoners because they were Muslims. He treated them 
justly and kindly, but warned them not to harass the Hindus, 
or not to soil the water in the tank by cleansing their feet 
in it, or not to do purposely less work and bring him into 
trouble. Muslims began to say ‘ Ram Ram ’ and a tiny 
Hindu Raj came into being in the Andamans. No mischief, 
no trouble, no pxmishment. Merchants, traders, or wealthy 
men under the guise of merchants went to have a glimpse of 
the Foreman of the tiny Hindu Kingdom whose capital was 
the oil-depot. Untouchability had disappeared from the 
kingdom. Pan-Hindu consciousness was pulsating through 


Hindu veins. Savarkar had been hammering into the heads 
of his colleagues and convicts that among the social institu- 
tions, the greatest curse of India was the caste-system. “ The 
mighty current of Hindu life,” he said, “ is being threatened 
to perish in bogs and sands.” He added : “ It is no good 
saying, ‘ We will reduce it to four caste system first That 
would not and should not be. It must be swept away root 
and branch.” ^ Many a time he would touchingly remark that 
the curse of caste-system had deprived India of several great 
brains. He also strongly disapproved the Andhrasabha 
movement and similar disintegrating moves. He disliked 
that every province should desire separation and shod and 
invoke long life to itself. How could the province live unless 
the nation lived, he asked. “ They all — Maharashtra, Bengal, 
Madras — ^are great and will live long but through her-India ! 
So let us not say ' Andramataki ’ but ‘ Bharatmataki Jai ’ of 
whom Andhra is a limb and let us sing not ‘ Vanga Abhar, 
but Hind Abhar ^ he warned. 

Years glided by. A sense of oneness and noble patriotism 
began to throb through the veins of the Andamans. At such 
a time the death of the gi-eat Tilak in 1920 shocked India and 
its repercussions reached the Cellular Jail. All prisoners 
observed a day of fast in memory of the Father of Indian 
imrest The fast was swiftly and silently organised to the 
surprise of the jail authorities. Tilak’s dramatic disappearance 
caused the sudden appearance of Gandhiji, a man of boundless 
capacity and fabulous energy, on the political stage ! Writing 
on the subversive movements in India, Mr. J. C. Ker, who 
was a member of the Indian Civil Service from 1901 to 1929, 
observed : “ The death of Tilak in August 1920 removed liis 
(Gandhiji’s) strongest rival for the Hindu Leadership, and 
early in 1921 the campaign of Mr. Gandhi and the Ali Brothers 
was in full swing.” • 


World War I broke out in August 1914 as forecast by 
Savarkar in his London days. But alas ! He was not free 

1 Savarkar, An Echo from Andamans, p. 32. 

^ Ibid., p. 36. 

» Political India, edited by Sir John Cuimning, p. 237. 


to Utilize the golden opportunity to free his nation. Yet he 
felt the situation advantageous to India in many respects. 
“It sent a thrill of delight,” he wrote, in March 1915, from 
the Celltilar Jail, “ in my heart to hear that the Indian troops 
were allowed to go to Europe, in their thousands to fight 
against the best military power in the world and that they 
had acquainted themselves with such splendour and were 
covered with military glory. Thank God ! Manliness after 
all i. not dead yet in the land.” ^ Considering that the needs 
and difficulties of the British Government were the seeds of 
and opportunity for Indian progress, Tilak strategically 
supported the militarisation policy of the Indian Government. 
But, strangely enough, Gandhiji, the apostle of peace and 
non-violence, surprised the country when he girded up his 
loins, trod and toured the country and panted for recruiting 
unconditionally soldiers for the British Power to give blood- 
bath to the Germans. Tilak’s step was responsive and 
statesmanly. Gandhiji ’s step was emotional and devotional 
and need not surprise the rationalists. The Indian 
revolutionaries in Europe and America now decided to throw 
their whole weight into the direction of a revolt. They 
prepared themselves for an all-out struggle for overthrowing 
the British rule in India. To that end the revolutionary 
leaders like Lala Hardayal, Virendranath Chattopadhyaya 
of the Abhinava Bharat, and Raja Mahendra Pratap were 
busy discussing plans and spinning negotiations with 
Germany. With full support of the German War Cabinet 
they set up an Indian Independence League in Germany 
xmder the Chairmanship of Sri Champaka Raman Pillai. 
Accordingly, world-wide plans were devised to smuggle lakhs 
of rifles and ammunition through the Muslim countries and 
Tibet for the revolutionaries of the Ghadr party in the Punjab, 
to land the revolutionaries of the Ghadr party in Bengal and 
attack the Eastern Frontiers of India. One of the major plans 
was to raid Port Blair and pick up their leader Savarkar and 
other revolutionaries from the Andamans. The Sedition 
Committee Report tells us that a third steamer was to sail to 
the Andamans, shipping a cargo of arms at sea and raid Port 

* Savarkar, An Echo from Andamans, p. 33. 


Blair, pick up anarchists and convicts.’^ Mr. J. C. Ker, 
referring to the plans of the German Government, states : 

During the war efforts were made by the Germans to use 
the Indian revolutionaries for their own purposes. Elaborate 
and world- wide plans were devised to land arms in Bengal 
for the use of the revolutionaries there, and emissaries 
proceeded between the leaders in India and German 
representatives in Batavia and elsewhere to complete the 
arrcijngcmenis/' The revolutionary leaders recruited and 
inspired Indians abroad to fight for the Independence of their 
Motherland under the banner of Ghadr party initiated by the 
leaders of the Abhinava Bharat and inspired by Savarkar^s 
slogans, Savarkar's book War of Independence of 1857, his 
pamphlets and his personality. Pictures showing Savarkar at 
the oil-mill were flashed in Ghadr papers in San Francisco 
and other American papers. Thus the oil Savarkar pressed 
out at the oil-mill in the Andamans did not fall into the 
bucket down below, but outside it and inflamed the fire and 
wrath of the Ghadr revolutionaries. And so the remark made 
by Sir J. C. Ker that with his (Savarkar’s) removal, the 
society in London ceased to be of any great consequence, and 
on the outbreak of the Great War it was broken up,” ^ is not 
vrholly true ; for the heads of the Ghadr were the lieutenants 
of Savarkar. Simply for the sake of safety and strategy the 
headquarters were shifted to the United States of America. 

As pre-planned by the revolutionaries with the German 
Government, the German war machine began to operate. The 
German submarine, Emden, moved in the Bay of Bengal 
raiding British cargo-ships, bombarding some of the places on 
the Eastern coast of India, striking terror into the hearts of 
the authorities of the Andamans and causing sleepless nights 
to the Indian Government. There was a rumour in the 
Andamans that the Emden was to pick up Savarkar and send 
him in a German aeroplane to the headquarters of the Ghadr. 
Savarkar had also discussed this possibility with his colleagues 
in the Cellular Jail and was fully aw^are of it. But at this 
juncture he was removed to the tower of the central building 

^ Sedition Committee’s Report, p. 124. 

^ Political India, edited by Sir John Gumming, p. 233, 

8 Ibid., p. 232. 


of the jail, and was strictly watched. In the meanwhile, in 
November 1914, the famous Emden was destroyed and the 
escape of Savarkar could not be effected. The French 
Government insincerely handed Savarkar to the British 
Government and the German Government struggled for his 
rescue ! 

In their other plans the revolutionaries succeeded 
considerably. About 8,000 Sikh revolutionaries arrived in 
India from America, Canada and the Far East in 1915, and the 
situation in the Punjab became tense and threatening. “ The 
internal situation began to grow menacing,” writes Lord 
Hardinge in his memoirs, “ owing to the revolutionaries 
realising the military weakness consequent on depletion of 
the Indian troops.” Alarmed by the growing menace, 
pressure and incursion of the revolutionaries. Lord Handinge, 
the Governor-General of India, got the Defence of Realms Act 
passed by the Legislative Assembly. Describing this critical 
situation, klr. J. C. Ker says : “ Early in the war a serious 
situation developed in the Punjab, arising out of the return 
from America of Sikhs who had been demoralized by the 
teaching of the Ghadr party. During the first three years of 
the War some 8,000 Sikhs came back from the United States, 
Canada, and the Far East. . . . Several risings were attempted, 
and efforts were made in two or three instances to seduce the 
Indian regiments. A large number of dacoities and murders 
were committed in many of the Punjab districts, and efforts 
were made to raise a rebellion.” ^ 

The War of Independence of 1857 had been suppressed 
with the help of the Sikhs. To wash out the odium from 
the history of 1857 tliis Second War of Independence was 
started by an overwhelming number of Sikh revolutionaries. 
They buzzed to imdermine the loyalty of the Indian troops 
in India and Siam and induce them to take up the cause of 
freedom. There was trouble with the 10th Baluchis of which 
the Mashud company shot their officer in Bombay on their 
way to Mesopotamia. Revolutionary strongholds were 
discovered at Delhi, Lahore and Meerut. The brilliant Vishnu 
Ganesh Pingle from Maharashtra was arrested with ten 
loaded bombs inside the line of the 12th Cavalry at Meerut 

1 Political India, edited by Sir John Cumming, p. 234. 


and was hanged. Conspiracies aimed at robbing the armoury 
and magazine of certain regiments were discovered at Lahore, 
Pindi and Ferozepore. In Bengal, too, the revolutionaries 
were striving their level best to achieve their goal. Writing 
about this Mr. J, C. Ker observes : “ Money (from Germany) 
was sent to the conspirators in Calcutta, and the nucleus of 
a training camp was set up in a remote spot in the jungle. 
This hiding place was discovered, and in a fight between the 
police and a party of the Bengalis armed with Mauser pistols, 
the leader was killed, and the plot collapsed. Another plan 
organised with the help of the Ghadr party was to enter 
Burma through Siam, and after gaining over the military 
police to proceed to the conquest of India.” ^ Armed with 
extensive powers and with the help of the 6,000 troops from 
Nepal, the British Government ruthlessly suppressed this 
heroic rising. There was a holocaust of victims at the altar 
of freedom. Some five thousand men were put on trial for 
treason in the Punjab alone. Five hundred revolutionaries 
were tried by court-martial and executed, eight hundred were 
sentenced to transportation for life, ten thousand were 
interned without trial, and a large niunber had to remain 
underground for years. 

Setting aside its previous decision of not transporting the 
prisoners to the Andamans, the British Government 
transported about 500 revolutionaries, who had thus taken 
part, fought and failed in the Second War of Independence, to 
the Andamans. Prominent among them was Bhai Parmananda, 
who had already come into contact with Savarkar during 
the latter’s London days. On their arrival in the Cellular 
Jail the revolutionary leaders narrated to Savarkar how his 
writings and the great book on ‘ 1857 ’ and his sacrifice bg d 
a magic effect in changing them overnight into patriots and 
warriors ! The new batch of the prisoners was made of 
farmers, workers and businessmen. It was difficult for the 
jail authorities to bend them to their will. There were point 
blank refusals. Nobody would do hard work. For a time 
the jailer and the Superintendent seemed to lower their voice 
and the standard of work, and requested them to work as 
best as they could. There were scuffles and broils over bad 

1 Political India, edited by Sir John Cununing, p. 233. 


words. Words of abuse were returned with blows, and 
consequently many noble and spirited patriots from this group 
perished in their helpless fight with the cruel jail authorities 
in their prime of youth. 

During the war period Savarkar made vigorous attempts 
to effect his release. He made petitions and appeals to the 
Government of India that he should be released with or 
without conditions or at least be enlisted in the volvmteer 
corps. The authorities knew his intention and were not at 
all willing to do so. To them a bird in the hand was worth 
two in the bush ! Savarkar asked his younger brother 
Dr. Savarkar, in his annual letter why the Indian National 
Congress had not uttered a word of sympathy and fought shy 
of speaking about the release of political prisoners when 
responsible leaders like General Botha released all Boer 
rebels or John Edward Redmond struggled and succeeded in 
getting all the Irish prisoners released. He wrote to his 
brother to agitate in the matter and send a public petition so 
that, if at all the release came at any time, it would be 
acceptable as a token of the countrymen’s love and 
remembrance for those who never ceased to love their land 
of birth and rightly or wrongly fell fighting for her. Thereupon 
provincial conferences passed resolutions demanding the 
release of ‘ political prisoners.’ But it was seen that there was 
some vagueness about the phrase ‘ political prisoner,’ prevail- 
ing in the Press and the statements of politicians and resolu- 
tions of the conferences. Savarkar, therefore, asked his 
brother to note that the term political could be distinguished 
from ‘ private ’ only by the criterion of the motive of the act 
and not by the act itself. He said : “ No act is or can be by 
itself political. For even a rebellion, if that proceeds entirely 
for my own bread and butter, is not political and ought not 
to create any sympathy in others.” So he informed his 
brother that the point should definitely be pressed that 
“ political prisoners means all those undergoing imprisonment 
whether convicted or not, whether for individual acts or acts 
in general, for actions which proceeded from purely and 
admittedly poHtical motives.” ^ 

1 Savarkar, An Echo from Andamans, p. 66. 


In his petitions to the Viceroy and Mr. E. S. Montagu, 
Secretary of State for India, Savarkar submitted to them that 
while they were considering the question of Reforms in 
India they should release all political prisoners. Grant of 
reforms and grant of amnesty for all prisoners and exiles in 
foreign lands should go hand in hand. He said : “ How can 
there be peace and contentment and trust in a land where a 
brother is torn av/ay from a brother, where thousands upon 
thousands are rotting in cage cells and stand exiled and in 
jails, and where every other family has a brother or a son, 
a father or a friend, or a lover snatched away from its bosom 
and kept pining away his life in the parched and thirsty 
Saharas of Separation ! ” And if progress is made easy, he 
asks : “ Where is the man who would run the ordeals of iire 
or would tread the paths of furies with bleeding feet for sheer 
amusement ! ” Ho continued : “ That is rare and rarer it is 
to find a true patriot and humanitarian who would indulge 
in reckless and bloody and necessarily outrageous revolutions 
— if but and even when, a safer, nobler, more certainly moral 
because entirely effective and employing least resistance — 
if but such a Path, the Path of constitutional progress be open 
and accessible to him ? ” He added : “ It is a mockery to talk 
of constitutional agitation when there is no constitution at 
all, but it is worse than a mockery, a crime, to talk of revolu- 
tions as if it were a work of rose water even when there is as 
elastic and progressive a constitution as, say, there is in 
England or in America.” ^ to say, this petition was indirectly and obviously 
a pressure on the Government and a support on behalf of 
the revolutionary party to the national forces that were 
demanding responsible Governn-jent in India. Indian Govern- 
ment wanted to know the views of the revolutionary party 
on the proposed Reforms and so its accredited leader, 
Savarkar, was asked by the authorities to offer his views on 
the drafts of the Montagu-Chelniisford Reforms. Even in the 
published Draft of Mr. E. S. Montagu’s scheme was expressed 
the hope that the revolutionists would now find something to 
be done constitutionally for the realization of their hopes and 
aspirations and would change their minds and return to 
1 Savarkar, An Echo from Andamans, p. 72. 


useful paths of activity.^ The blood of martyrs never drops 
in vain. They die so that humanity may prosper ! 

Savarkar gives in his letter dated July 6, 1920, a brief 
summary of his new petition to the Indian Government and 
depicts his ideal of Human Government or World Common- 
wealth Viewed from the angle of truth, sympathy, justice, 
impartiality and looking to the times, this letter will reveal 
why Guy A. /Jdred of Britain claims for Savarkar a place 
in the line of prophets and humanists of the world. Those 
who boast of their broad-niindedness and large sympathies 
and dream of world I'^ederation should pause for a while to 
read the following passage from Savarkar and compare it 
with their present ideal, for Savarkar declared his ideal 
when they were, speaking politically, in their swaddling 
clothes. Savarkar observes in 1920 : 

** We believe in a universal state embracing all mankind 
and wherein all men and women would be citizens working 
for and enjoying equally the fruits of this earth and this sun, 
this land and this light, which constitute the real Motherland 
and Fatherland of Man. All other divisions and distinctions 
are artificial though indispensable. Believing thus thiit the 
ideal of all political Science and Art is or ought to be a Human 
State in which all nations merge their political selves for their 
own fulfilment even as the cells in an organism, organisms in 
families and tribes, and tribes in nation states have done, and 
believing therefore the humanity is higher patriotism and 
therefore any Empire or Commonwealth that succeeds in 
welding numbers of conflicting races and nations in one 
harmonious, if not homogeneous whole in such wise as to 
render each of them better fitted to realize, enrich and enjoy 
life in all its noble aspects in a distinct step to the realization 
of that ideal. I can consciously co-operate with any attempt 
to found a Commonwealth which would be neither British 
nor Indian but which may, till a better name be devised, be 
styled as an Aryan Commonwealth.” He concludes : With 
this end in view I ever worked in the past. With this end in 
view I am willing to work now. And therefore I rejoiced to hear 
that the Government have changed their angle of vision and 

1 Savarkar, An Echo from Andamans^ p. 71. 


meant to make it possible for India to advance constitutionally 
on the path to Freedom and strength and fulness of life. 1 
am sure that many a revolutionist would like me cry halt 
under such circumstances and try to meet England under an 
honourable truce, even in a half-way house as the reformed 
Council Halls promised to be, and work there before a further 
march on to progress be sounded.” ^ 

1 Savarkar, An Echo irom Andamans, pp. 88-89. 


Out of his Grave 


The World War I terminated in 1918 and soon after a 
systematic and persistent propaganda was carried on through- 
out the country for the release of all political prisoners. 
People, popular leaders and the Press voiced their demand 
for the release of political prisoners through petitions, meet- 
ings, Conferences, Congress Sessions and in Coimcils. The 
National Union of Bombay, Sri Anantrao Gadre, Senapati 
Bapat and Sri Shivrampant Paranjpe took a leading part in 
collecting signatures of the people on the petition and the 
great petition was forwarded to Mr. Montagu, the Secretary 
of State for India. The Secretary of State for India rejected 
it. The Amritsar Congress demanded the release of all 
political prisoners by a special resolution. The District Home 
Rule Leagues from Maharashtra, too, wired to the Viceroy 
demanding the release of the Savarkar brothers. The royal 
proclamation in connection with the royal clemency to 
political prisoners issued on December 24, 1919, stated in clear 
terms ; “ I therefore direct my Viceroy to exercise in My 
name and on My behalf My Royal clemency to political 
prisoners in the fullest measure which, in his judgment, is 
compatible with public safety. I desire to extend it on this 
condition to persons who, for offences against the State or 
imder any special or emergency legislation are suffering 
imprisonment or restriction upon their liberty.” 

According to this proclamation all provincial Governments 
opened the gates of their prisons. Many political and ordinary 
prisoners were set free from provincial jails and the Cellular 
Jail too. Even those who had come after Savarkar or were 
his co-prisoners were released, but the Government of India 
held Savarkar’s release incompatible with public safety. In 
his case all rules were literally and strictly, and many a time 
xinjustly, enforced. Ordinary prisoners were allowed to settle 


on the Island after five years’ imprisonment, but the Savarkar 
brothers were singled out as an exception to this rule even 
after ten years. All hard-skinned convicts were given light 
work, but the soft-skinned Savarkars were given the hardest 
possible work from the beginning. After eight long years 
Government permitted Dr. N. D. Savarkar to see his brothers 
in the Cellular Jail. Savarkar’s wif^ and Dr. Savarkar saw 
him in the last week of May 1919. The Savarkar brothers 
were startled to find the absence of Srimati Yashodabai, wife 
of Babarao Savarkar. The struggling flame of her noble life 
had flickered away just two months ago ! And Yashoda 
Vahini was to Savarkar his earliest friend, his sister, liis 
mother and his comrade — all in one, all at once. She really 
died as dies a satee ! Deserted by all relatives, cursed as the 
wife of a convict by unpatriotic persons, separated from her 
husband, crushed by overwhelming grief, she perished in her 
unconscious state with the only thought of the Darshan of her 
husband. Another lady, Savarkar ever remembered with 
grateful tributes, was Madame Cama who had been a second 
mother to his younger brother and stood so nobly and so 
faithfully by them in the darkest hour of their life. “ At the 
touch of one such faithful, noble, unshaken, loving hand,” 
wrote Savarkar, “ one’s heart recovers its belief in Humanity 
— belief rudely shaken by the disappearance of the closest 
and by the treachery of the truest and by the indifference of 
the dearest.” The above-cited interview terminated in an 
hour in the presence of the jail authorities, Savarkar being 
given some time to speak to his wife separately. 

As regards other facilities, Savarkar was given the work 
of a clerk and afterwards was allowed to work as the foreman 
of the oil-depot and department in the latter part of 1920. 
The authorities even allowed him to enjoy at times the 
moonlit nights and starlit dawn which he loved so immensely, 
in the jail yard with his brother Ganeshpant alias Babarao ! 
Barrie, who expected to see the bones of Savarkar in the 
Andamans, had gone away to lay his bones in safety as he 
feared that any one of Savarkar’s followers might blow up 
his head in India ! 

At last the heavy brunt Savarkar bore all along for his 
co-sufferers, the rigorous work, imhealthy food, crushing 


anxieties, sapping climate, and the monotonous dreary and 
insipid life told upon his nerves. He reached the lowest point 
of vitality and was reduced to a skeleton. Chronic dysentery 
and diverse other ailments thoroughly invalidated him. He 
was, at last, taken to the jail hospital for treatment where 
tuberculosis of the lungs was suspected. Till the appearance 
of such a crisis in his health, for months he was sinking for 
want of medical help and hospital diet. For want of milk he 
wetted his rice with simple water. Half-boiled, half-cooked 
food he no longer could digest, His brother, Babarao, who 
was allowed at this stage to cook for himself, sent him ‘ Dal ’ 
secretly. But the malady was developing into a dangerous 
form. Later, however, in the hospital he was given milk 
when he could not digest it ! His diet dwindled to a sip of 
milk. His body burnt with constant fever. He grew deli- 
rious, often fell into dead faints and was troubled with 
hallucinations. Forlorn, forsaken though not forgotten, he 
was rotting, w'ithering and pining awa3' in a lonely corner of 
the hospital, banned and barred from his near and dear ones 
and surrounded by unsympathetic elements. Now death 
began to hover over his head. 

Yet with a peaceful mind and composed feelings of a true 
yogin Savarkar invoked death. He was content with liis 
achievements in life. He had seen the world, done his duty 
and acted in great events heroically. If the end of life was the 
passage to another world-heaven, then he was sure of a 
reserved place there as he had testimonials from Lord Krishna 
for having done his duty for duty’s sake and if the end of life 
was to dissolve the composition of all elements, he was 
prepared to immerse them in the Universal oneness ! 
Wordsworths and Tennysons and Tagores would sing the glory 
of these self-experienced true feelings ! Such is the grandeur, 
loftiness and piousness of these thoughts ! 

The jail life of any other Indian leader pales into insigni- 
ficance before this horrible tale of Savarkar’s life in the 
Cellular Jail. Lokmanya Tilak suffered most, but was at least 
enlivened by the availability of writing material, help of a 
cook and a special little house. Not to speak of those who 
were speechless and peaceless even in ‘ A ’ class rich rooms ! 
And yet imbending, upright, and exemplary, Savarkar faced 


jail life with great fortitude. He agitated but within the four 
corners of the law; he acted resolutely, but skilfully, and 
reformed the jail life. At times he had to face mistmder- 
standing among his colleagues. But he persuaded them to 
realize the facts. Never did he speak ill of his colleagues, not 
even of Barrie who inhumanly troubled him. All political 
prisoners had respect for Savarkar. The convicts regarded 
him as God. His spirit, soul and energy were of a deathless 
stamp. Almost all the political prisoners from the Andamans 
with rare exceptions bade good-bye to political life after- 
wards. Bhai Parmananda and Sri Ashutosh Lahiri who 
respectively spent four and seven years in the Cellular Jail 
were the shining exceptions ! The permanent effect of this 
jail life was seen later in Savarkar’s health, lonely deport- 
ment, and his aloofness from the society. 

During the two years 1920 and 1921 the release of political 
prisoners was still more persistently demanded by Indian 
leaders and Indian Press. Sri Vithalbhai Patel raised the 
question in the Central Assembly. Sri Dadasahib Khaparde, 
while supporting Patel, referred to the cases of the Savarkar 
brothers in 1920. Tilak wrote a letter to Mr. Montagu urging 
the release of Savarkar. In May 1920 even Gandhiji, stating 
that the ‘ cult of violence had, at the present moment, no 
following in India,’ wrote in his Young India in favour of the 
release of the Savarkar brothers. Bhai Parmananda, after his 
release, saw Colonel Wedgewood then travelling in India and 
the Labour leader, on his return home, took up the cudgels 
on tlieir behalf and expressed the terrible conditions in the 
Andamans through the British Press in January and 
February 1921. The Rev. C. F. Andrews, too, took up the 
cause and wrote a series of articles demanding the release of 
the prisoners of the Andamans. Savarkar’s letters from the 
Andamans were printed and published in all provincial 
organs and given wide publicity. People and leaders were 
moved to read the letters. Meantime Dr. Savarkar paid a 
second visit to see his brother’s health in the year 1920. 

At this juncture the Cardew Committee that had been to 
the Andamans for surveying the conditions in jail submitted 
its report to the Government of India and consequently 
Government decided to close the Andamans settlement. 


Savarkar propagated even at the risk of creating temporary 
misunderstanding that the colony should be fully developed 
and hence prisoners should not express their willingness to go 
and rot in Indian jails, rather they should develop and bring 
the colony to prosperity. 

In 1920 Gandhiji started his non-violent non-co-operation 
movement in India. Swaraj was to be won within a year. 
Savarkar attacked the queer definitions of non-violence and 
truth and emphasized that the Khilafat would prove an 
‘ affai ’ — a calamity.^ Under the influence of this movement 
some underground revolutionary leaders were inveigled into 
appearing before the police and the result was that more 
revolutionary leaders were exiled into the Andamans. 
Savarkar told his colleagues that the end of politics was 
neither co-operation nor non-co-operation. It always hinged 
on responsive co-operation ; the goal of humanity was mutual 
co-operation, he added.^ 

In March 1921 the Hon. Sri K. V. Rangaswamy Iyengar, 
Member of the Council of State, moved a resolution in the 
House that the Savarkar brothers be released. But it was of 
no avail. Sri Iyengar said that he was ready to stand security 
for Savarkar to assure Government of his good intentions and 
honest motives. In the previous month the ‘ D ’ ticket was 
removed from Savarkar’s chest. 

At last came the day of Savarkar’s return to his beloved 
Motherland. The unexpected happened. There was a stir 
among the prisoners and the people aU over the island. 
Savarkar was overwhelmed with feelings at the thought of 
leaving those poor and patriotic hearts. Some of them 
stealthily or with the connivance of the guards garlanded him ! 
Before bidding good-bye to the anxious and devotional faces, 
Savarkar gave the sacred oath to the chosen few : — 

One God, one country, one goal, 

One race, one life, one language. 

And Oh ! Look here he crossed out the ferocious gates of 
the Andamans amidst the indistinct greetings from his co- 
suflerers ! London could not captivate him, Morea could not 

> Savarkar, Mazi Janmathep, p. 496. 




carry Kim and the Andamans could not suppress him. The 
Mother must feed him. What a ray of hope, a sigh of relief, 
and a flash of emotion must have overcome the brothers ! 
The Savarkar brothers were brought in the steamer s.s. 
MAHARAJAH, the Same steamer that had carried them to the 
Deathland, and here Savarkar started on his voyage back to 
India with his elder brother ! On board the ship a European 
Officer presented Savarkar his favourite book, Thomas A 
Kempis’ Imitation of Christ. On the fourth day they caught 
sight of India ! Savarkar exclaimed, “ Behold Baba, the feet of 
Mother Bharat washed by the blue waters of the ocean.” So 
saying they reverentially bowed their heads and shouted, 
“ Hail Thee Goddess of Liberty ! Bande Mataram ! ” The 
same unflinching love for Mother India even after such a great 
ordeal ! 


On their arrival the Savarkars were taken to the Alipore 
Jail. Savarkar was already a name to conjure with. A 
Chinese youth rotting in that Jail asked him whether any 
bullet could harm him, for he had heard many romantic 
stories about Savarkar. Savarkar replied that a bullet must 
pierce him ! One policeman asked Savarkar how many days 
he had swum in the ocean ! “ Not more than ten minutes,” 

said Savarkar. Those artless simple believing souls got angry 
with Savarkar for belittling his own story ! Savarkar belongs 
to the line of rationalists and not to that of mystics and hence 
he never made capital of his matchless exploits. 

No sooner did they arrive in the Alipore jail than the 
Savarkars were hit below the belt by the Capital, an Anglo- 
Indian journal of Calcutta. ‘ Ditchar,’ writing in the Capital, 
alleged that the Savarkar brothers had conspired with the 
Germans. Messrs. Manilal and Kher, Solicitors of Bombay, 
acting on behalf of the Savarkar brothers, extracted an 
unconditional apology from ‘ Ditchar ’ and the Capital. 

From Alipore the brothers were separated, Babarao being 
taken to Bijapur Jail from which he was released after a 
serious crisis in his health in 1922. Savarkar was taken to 
the Ratnagiri jail via Bombay. There the same rotation and 



repetition of the rigours awaited him. What facilities he had 
secured in the Andamans were now lost. The monotony and 
insipid life once again drove him to throw away life, but he 
bridled his feelings and regained his balance at nightfall. 

In the Ratnagiri Jail Savarkar came into contact with 
Khilafat prisoners and Gandhian truth-seekers. Though 
brought secretly, they persisted in reading the papers openly 
as devotees of Truth, and secured eatables through secret 
illegal sources and ate them stealtliily. Their perverted brains 
did not mind, they said, if all Hindus became Moslems but 
they wanted Swaraj which was now a fact in sight attainable 
in a few months’ time. The Kliilafat Pathans in the Ratnagiri 
Jail rioted and the Hindu prisoners were saved as they were 
forewarned by Savarkar. It was in the Ratnagiri Jail that 
Savarkar’s immortal work Hinduiva was written and sent out 
secretly and was published under the pen name ‘ Mahratta 
The whole movement for Hindu Nation and Hindu polity 
is based on this book of Savai'kar. Indeed, this book will bear 
out the truth that if there be any political leader in 
India who stands on a firm, far-reaching, profoimd, clear-cut, 
well-defined and momentous political philosophy, it is 
Savarkar alone. Some of his contemporaries looked to the 
mystic fads of their inner voices and others acted as 
messengers of Russian imperialism. The last chapters of this 
book are typically Savarkarian in grandeur, profundity, and 
eloquence. The poetical genius that produced the epic poetry 
shines through the pages of the book with eloquent reason 
and looks for a gleaming future ! This was the need of the 
hour, the prescription of an expert doctor ! Reading the signs 
of the times, Savarkar timely pointed out the ulcer that was 
growing and vitiating the health of Hindusthan. The book 
inspired the saintly soul of Swami Shraddhananda and he 
exclaimed : “ It must have been one of those Vedic dawns 
indeed which inspired our seers with new truths, that revealed 
to the author of Hindutva this ‘ Mantra ’, this definition of 
Hindutva ! ” 

Moved by the great aim, lofty vision and inspired 
exposition of the book, Sri Vijayaraghavachari, an eminent 
leader of light and learning, remarked, “ Especially the last 
chapter is inimitably eloquent and patriotic. I am afraid I 


am unable to find suitable words to describe my ideas 
regarding the book, especially the last chapter.” Sri N. C. 
Kelkar opined that Savarkar’s thesis on Hindutva unfolded 
a new scientific analysis of Hindutva unseen hithertofore ! 
Later on this book became the Bible of a great movement. 
Savarkar’s poems and parts of his unfinished epic also 
appeared one by one. One of them is ‘ Gomantak.’ This is 
a canto describing the eighteenth century horrors in Goa. In 
these poems Savarkar stirs the reader to the core. The reader 
shudders. The poems enrage him and his face darkens with 
shame. The poet narrates to the reader how under the guise 
of love and Humanity the Portuguese in India perpetrated the 
vilest misdeeds which were a black tyranny and a disgrace to 
Humanity ! 

Shortly afterwards followed the transfer of Savarkar to the 
Yeravada Jail. There he devoted himself to the spread of 
literacy and to the development of the jail library, and 
propagated his views on the current political questions among 
the Gandhian prisoners. Gandhiji was then imprisoned for 
sedition in the Yeravada Jail. Savarkar narrated the stories 
of the lives of revolutionaries to the prisoners, whose 
knowledge of historic events was as hollow as their caps ! He 
described their thi'illing deeds, great sacrifices and selfless 
services to which, he said, at least their countrymen should 
be grateful, humanely if not patriotically ! But they were 
struggling to secure special classes for themselves in prison. 
Why should they try to understand the sufferings, sacrifices 
and service of those dauntless revolutionary souls ? He was 
also watchful in the prison about the conversion of Hindus. 
He had performed one shuddhi in the Ratnagiri jail and here 
he converted one Christian officer and his bride to the Hindu 

The year 1922 passed by. In 1923 at the third Ratnagiri 
District Political Conference, Savarkar’s xmconditional release 
was again demanded by a special resolution. The Savarkar 
Release Committee led by Sri Jamnadasji Mehta agitated and 
published one pamphlet ‘ Why Savarkar should be released ’. 
A meeting was held in the Marwadi Vidyalaya, Bombay, 
and a strong demand was made for Savarkar’s release. 
Sri Vithalbhai Patel was in the chair. In 1923 the Indian 


National Congress at its Cocanada Session at last passed a 
resolutior, which was moved from the chair, demanding the 
release of Savarkar. Now helpful winds began to blow in 
his direction. His Excellency Sir George Llyod, the 
Governor of Bombay, came with his Councillors to interview 
Savarkar. Lt.-Col. J. H. Murray, I.M.S., who was the Jail 
Superintendent in the Cellular Jail, was now at Yeravada as 
the Jail Superintendent. The conditions of release were 
prepared in the light of the discussions held between Savarkar 
and H.E. the Governor and his Councillors. After 
substituting a few words, Savarkar accepted the conditions, 
signed the terms and was released conditionally on January 
6, 1924, from the Yeravada Jail. The terms read : — 

(1) that Savarkar shall reside in the Ratnagiri District and 
shall not go beyond the limits of that District without 
the permission of Government or in case of emergency 
of the District Magistrate ; 

(2) that he will not engage publicly or privately in any 
manner of political activities without the consent of 
Government for a period of five years such restrictions 
being renewable at the discretion of Government at 
the expiry of the said term. 

The release of Savarkar was hailed with great satisfaction 
all over India. Savarkar was taken away by Dr. Bhat to 
the City of Poona where Savarkar saw Sri N. C. Kelkar. 
Shivrampant Paranjpe, with his changed outlook, appeared 
before Savarkar as a distortion of the great revolutionary 
apostle ! Paranjpe talked to Savarkar about his proposed 
new daily, Nava Kal. Savarkar abruptly remarked with 
a pun that he knew only the old Kal ! 

But all was not yet well. The dark night of imperialism 
was still reigning. The owl, popularly known as the old dame 
of Bori Bunder, ominously hooted in its current topics, “ At 
Ratnagiri he will have predecessor of a very diflferent stamp. 
After the third Burmese War, King Thiba was exiled to 
Ratnagiri and it was there that he died.” What more humane 
and beneficial note can an owl hoot ? 

The political situation in India was getting complicated 
since 1915. Sri S. P. Sinha, afterwards Lord Sinha, was the 


last Moderate to preside over the Congress. He spoke in 
favour of gradual evolution and cautious progress, and his 
address proved to be the swan-song of the Moderates as 
Congressmen ! The Liberals were the Moderates who had 
seceded from the Congress. Their big Gokhale and Mehta 
had passed away. The Left Wing was coming to the front. 
Mrs. Annie Besant’s Home Rule League and Tilak’s grand 
entry into the Lucknow Congress hastened the fall of the 
Liberals. On the eve of the Lucknow Session the .shrewd 
elements in the Muslim League adopted the Congress ideal 
of self-government for India within the Empire. For winning 
support of the Muslim League to the Congress, the Congress 
made a pact with the Muslim League, conceding them 
separate representation and communal electorates. The 
Lucknow Pact, after Tilak’s death, unfortunately proved to 
be a rift in the lute ! The pact reduced the political problem 
to a simple equation. If the Muslim League represented the 
Indian Moslems, whom did the Congress represent ? The 
answer was all those Indians minus the Muslims. The 
Moderates and Moonje opposed this pact from the beginning ! 
The Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms were declared on August 
20, 1917, and were publi.shed in 1918. The Congress declared 
the reforms as disappointing and unsatisfactory. The 
Moderates pronounced this scheme a substantial instalment 
of responsible Government to be welcomed and improved 

Although Mr. Montagu, the Secretary of State for India, 
was of the opinion that the “ separate representation and 
communal electorates were opposed to the teaching of 
history ”, and “ fatal to the democratization of institutions and 
caused disunion between the Hindus and the Moham- 
medans he yielded to the Muslim demand as he feared a 
Moslem rising if he did not do so. Montagu confirmed the 
policy of Morley and Minto and the Lucknow Pact. Gokhale’s 
testament also held this view and his skeleton plan recognised 
the need for separate and direct representation of Moham- 
medans and other non-majority communities ! ^ 

1 E. S. Montagu, An Indian Diary, p. 100. 

"H.H. the Aga Khan, India in Transition, p. 44, 



Meanwhile, the Rowlatt Act was passed in 1919 and the 
Government of India took power to arrest and imprison any 
individual without trial. Tilak was then in London in con- 
nection with the Chiiol case. Martial law reigned in the 
Pimjab and roused general indignation. Then came the 
tragedy of Jallianwalla Baug and the inaugxu’ation of 
Gandhiji’s non-co-operation movement in collaboration with 
the Khilafat Movement which was entirely religious, essen- 
tially fanatical and historically regressive. At this critical 
juncture Tilak passed away ! The fiasco and futility of 
Gandhiji’s non-co-operation and the collapse of the Khilafat 
movement turned Sri C. R. Das and Pandit Motilal Nehru to 
the Assembly with a view to giving organized opposition to 
the Government. Kelkar, Jayakar and Moonje who were 
sceptical of Gandhiji’s political tactics and who were 
awakened by the Moplas’ atrocities and outrages on Hindu 
women, men and children in Malabar made common cause 
with this part 5 ^ The Liberals in the new Assembly carried 
a motion declaring that they wanted a revision or re- 
examination of the reformed constitution at an earlier date 
than 1929. Hence they were also not liked by Government and 
their wisdom with moderation was disliked by the masses who 
were awakened to political consciou.snes.s by Tilak and Das. 
The strange, enigmatic, and conquering politician in Gandhiji 
was about to retire into oblivion for the next five years. 
Although it was a fact that Gandhiji’s meteoric rise was due 
to his unparalleled gift for organization, the self-centred 
multi-millionaires and mill-magnates were not less responsible 
for it. In the words of B. C. Pal : “ Mr. Gandhi has not been 
helped to his unique influence in the country by merely the 
medieval Indian mind, but also by the more practical support 
that has come to him from the multi-millionaires and the mill- 
masters of his own province who have not been slow to 
recognize in him a very efficient instrument for advancing 
their own economic and financial interests. They have 
exploited him as he himself has, perhaps unconsciously, 
exploited them. In the coming Gandhi Raj, if the Gandhi 
movement succeeds, we shall have no democracy, but an, 


autocracy of the oriental type dominated by priestly 
influences and worked especially for the benefit of profiteering 
banias.” ^ Did we realize this in 1950 ? 

The Liberals were routed in the election of 1923. They 
lacked an organized party. The vociferous Das and Nehru 
occupied their places. Savarkar was willing to work the 
reforms. He always held that the movement for freedom 
should be launched from within and without ! 

J Quoted in The Problem of Minorities by K. B. Krishna, p. 167. 

The Savarkar Brothers 


Social Revolution 


Thus Savarkar was interned in Ratnagiri where the 
defeated and dethroned King Theba of Burma had perished. 
Two weeks after this memorable event of January 6, 1924, 
the Ratnagiri Hindu Sabha was established ostensibly 
through the influence and attempts of Babarao Savarkar, but, 
in fact, inspired by Savarkar himself. The main object of the 
Sabha was to organize, consolidate and unite the Hindus into 
one organic whole and enable them to oppose effectively any 
unjust aggression ; thus while protecting their own cultural, 
religious and economic rights, the Hindus were to strive for 
the general welfare of mankind, universal compassion being 
the basic urge of Hinduism ! 

The first event of note that took place in the history 
of the Sanghatanist Party was the visit to Ratnagiri of 
Sri Shankaracharya in May 1924, during the celebration of the 
Shivaji Festival. The Sanghatanist Party utilised the great 
occasion for arousing people’s enthusiasm for the Sanghatan 
movement. But at this juncture plague broke out in Ratnagiri 
and their work was hindered. Consequently Savarkar was 
allowed to shift to Nasik, the city which he had transformed 
into the Jerusalem of Indian revolutionaries. After 19 years 
of glorious struggle and long incarceration Savarkar’s entry 
into the city was hailed with great enthusiasm by the people. 
As a token of their gratitude he was presented with a purse 
on behalf of Maharashtra. Dr. Moonje presided over the 
function and Sri N. C. Kelkar read out the address. 
Sri Shankaracharya sent his blessings on the occasion by 
presenting a holy garment to the great patriot. Expressing 
feelings of esteem, gratitude and love that Maharashtra 
cherished for Savarkar’s heroic fortitude, sterling patriotism 
and untold sufferings in the cause of freedom, the address 
presented to Savarkar ended with the hope that Savarkar 


would soon be a free man to carry on his mission in the 
country unrestricted and unhampered. Savarkar carried on 
his work for the uplift of the Hindu society in Nasik too. 
During his stay at Nasik, he rescued some Mahar Hindus 
from the snare of the Agakhani Mohammedans. He also 
visited Trimbak, Yeola and Nagar, and propagated his new 
Hindu Sanghatanist ideology among the people. 

On his return from Nasik in the last week of November 
1924, Savarkar devoted himself to public work and propaga- 
tion of his ideal from the platform of the Ratnagiri Hindusabha 
which was then, as was the Hindu Mahasabha itself, a non- 
political body. The late Dr. M. G. Shinde, a sincere and 
staunch worker and devoted Savarkarite who stood by his 
leader through thick and thin, was Savarkar ’s chief lieutenant. 
Different men for different purposes were drawn to him. 
Some loved him, some protected him, some spread his 
ideology among the people, and others worked and toiled for 

Sri Palukaka Joshi, a devotee, copied his master’s 
manuscripts, his essays and dramas, articles and writings, and 
directed them to the proper places. The late Sri Nanai, a 
legal celebrity in the District, Kao Bahadur Parulekar, Rao 
Saheb Ranade, Sri Vishnupant Damie, Sri Wamanrao Chavan, 
Sri Patkar, Sri Achyutrao Malushte, Sri Narayanrao Khatu, 
Sri Haribhau Gandhi, Sri Dattatraya Savant, Sri Atmaramrao 
Salvi, Sri Keruji Mahar and a host of others were the pioneer 
workers in this movement launched by Savarkar. 

Gradually Savarkar began to initiate the people into his 
new ideology through the Hindu Sabha. Afire with the new 
ideology the Hindus in Ratnagiri began to worship strength, 
consolidation, and unity. It was inevitable that such an 
unadulterated Hindu movement should upset the mental 
balance of the then peerless Gandhian pro-Muslim zealots. 
The breath of the movement was against the current fads 
and fashions in Indian pohtics passing under the good name 
of non-violence and truth. Worship of strength and love for 
the Machine age were taboo to the Gandhian faddists. 
Naturally the new cult of lathi irritated them much. They 
thought that the cult of lathi created communal dishaimony. 
The Muslim opposition to this cult and ideology sprung from 


the fear that the resultant force would be used against them. 
In reply, the Savarkarian group suggested to the apostles of 
the self-abnegation policy to cut their own hands lest they 
might strike the faces of the Muslims. Servile philosophy, 
the child of fear complex, being not in the blood of the 
Sanghatanists, they did not care for the objections of the 
faddists, nor did they care for the opposition of the fanatics. 
They believed that the real leaders of the Hindus were those, 
who had risen even in armed revolt against injustice, 
aggression and tyranny in any form ! For the defence of their 
natural and national rights, the Sanghatanists said, they 
would not only use the force of lathi, but would also await 
the opportunity to utilise, if necessary, the fire and power of 
machine guns, submarines, aeroplanes and battleships. 

In 1927 the question of playing music before mosque raised 
its ugly head in Ratnagiri too. In Turkey and many other 
European countries wherein Mu.slims live, there is neither ban 
nor objection to the playing of music in public places. That 
there should be an abundant and abiding respect for all creeds, 
faiths, and ways of life is the true key to universal happiness. 
But there must bo a give and take on both sides. It is the 
duty of the followers of every faith to accommodate, conduce 
and contribute to the peace and progress of the world. Here 
in this case even (conventionally and legally the Hindus were 
entitled to take their processions with music by the mosques ; 
still the Muslims raised objection to these Hindu rights. So 
the situation grew tense. The Hindus took out their 
procession with great pomp and preparedness amidst this 
tension and excitement. 

The Muslims appealed to the District Magistrate for “ help 
He rejected their appeal in these words : “ I do not think 

that an amicable settlement is possible, as the Mohammedans 
under the influence of some undesirable advice allege that no 
procession ever passed the mosque with music in the past.” 
The Di.strict Magistrate continued : “ It is unfortunate that 
the question of music before the mosque has recently been 
the cause of so much trouble everywhere. The duty of the 
Executive is clear. It is to afford protection to the peaceful 
enjoyment of existing rights and customs to those entitled to 
it without fear or favour. I, therefore, agree with the District 


Superintendent of Police that Mohammedans have no grounds 
for making these applications.” * Obviously the struggle 
ended in a triumph for the Hindus. On this occasion Savarkar 
reiterated his views that force and fanaticism on the Muslim 
side would never solve this problem of music before the 
mosque; true understanding and due respect for the Hindu 
rights of citizenship on their part alone would mitigate the 

Soon after the decision of the authorities in the aforesaid 
episode, the Mushms exhibited placards in a procession 
declaring that they did not want Swaraj. The Sanghatanists 
said that Allah should read the placai-ds and grant their 
prayer ; for the Swaraj of the stamp of Kohat, Malabar and 
Gulbarga might never come into existence. The Hindus 
said : “ Oh ! friends, you never joined us on the platform, 
never accompanied us to the prisons, and never followed us 
to the gallows. What else will a reasonable man expect of 
you ? In spite of such an attitude, Savarkar every year on 
the days of Hindu festivals visited the Muslim and Christian 
quarters to promote good feelings between the Hindus and 
the other communities. On the occasion of the Dasara 
festival, accomjianied by his co-workers, Savarkar distributed 
“ gold leaves ” among the Muslim and Christian citizens too. 
But these feelings were never reciprocated. The doctrine of 
false humility and degraded self-respect practised by Gandhist 
Hindus stood at the non-Hindu doors with offers of 
supplicant service. And the non-Hindus loved it more than 
genuine goodwill and self-respect displayed by Savarkar. Due 
regard for self and reasonable self-love constitute the Vtacif? of 
virtue. A man of sense and self-respect considers so ! 

The first and foremost battle on the home front as such 
Savarkar had with the Hindu orthodoxy or the Sanatanists 
was over the question of mixed-caste schools in the District. 
The orthodox Hindus opposed the idea tooth and nail. The 
School Board faltered and the District Board failed in its 

So Savarkar carried on intense propaganda in favour of 
mixed schools through the press and from the platform, and 
appealed to the District and Provincial authorities for help 

1 Ratnagiri Hindu Sabha, Five-Year Report, p. 41. 


against the forces of orthodoxy which denied the jxist, civic, 
hxuuan, and legitimate rights to the children of the imtouch- 
ables to sit in public schools along with the caste-Hindu 
children. Attention of the Government also was drawn by 
Savarkar to the fact that the imtouchables being as good 
tax-payers and citizens the touchables, their children were 
entitled to the benefit of al! public schools. It was also pointed 
out tiiat those very orthodox Hindus did not feel any qualms 
of conscience in allowirn Christian and Muslim children 
to sit with their children in the schools. 

Savarkar entreated the orthodox Hindus in an appealing 
tone not to treat their co-religionists worse than dogs and cats. 
“ Can you prevent Christian children from attending public 
schools ? No. You dare not. You know the consequences. 
The British Government will speak with bullets,” he 
challenged. “You insult the untouchables, because they are 
ignorant and helpless ; but you yield to the unjust demands 
of the Muslims because they are aggressive. When a Mahar 
becomes a Muslim or a Christian convert, you treat him as 
your equal. But as a Mahar he will not receive the same 
treatment. What a shame my countrymen ! ” he thundered. 

Savarkar appealed to the District Magistrate to bring the 
rowdy elements to book and wrote to him in a moving tone : 
“ I wish, sir, to enlist not only your legal protection as a 
Magistrate, but also your human sympathies as a gentleman, 
in the cause.” It may seem strange that Savarkar should 
have written for help to the Government of those days. But 
it must be noted that Savarkar is always uncompromising with 
untruth and injustice, and not with men and power. The 
breath of his ideology is the hatred of oppression in every 
form, not of personalities and authorities. The virility and 
sincerity of Savarkar in this cause ultimately triumphed. The 
District Magistrate saw things for himself, and wrote the 
following remark during one of his visits to the schools : “It 
is the good result of Mr. Savarkar’s lectures that the 
untouchable boys have been allowed to sit mixed and get 
their education without any invidious distinction being made 
in their case ! ” ^ 

Then came another shock to orthodoxy ! An untouchable 
1 Ratnagiri Hindu Sabha, Five-Year Report, p. 150. 


teacher was transferred in 1928, to a school attended entirely 
by caste-Hindu children ! The Sanatanists moved heaven 
and earth to get the order of the School Board rescinded, but 
to no purpose. The School Board threatened to close the 
school and the orthodox Hindus regained their civic sense ! 
The effect was tremendous and historic. Due to this victory 
of Savarkai' over orthodoxy and the establishment of rival 
mixed-caste schools by the Hindus, and consequently for want 
of new converts, the American Mission working in Ratnagiri 
had to wind up its activities, and its chief departed in despair ! 
Thus ended the first battle at Ratnagiri agmnst orthodo?<y 
in a unique victory for Savarkar. 

Shuddhi or the Reconversion movement, the main spring 
of Sanghatanisni, was also inaugurated by Savarkar in 
Ratnagiri and was coming to a head despite heavy odds. Th(' 
Ratnagiri Hindu Sabha fought its way inch by inch until 
the Hindus came to realize the Movement’s democratic sup- 
IX)rt to the Indian unity, Indian peace and Indian prosperity in 
the peculiar situation obtaining in India. Reconversion adds to 
the strength and forces of nationalism and decreases the forces 
of communalism, disruption, and disorder. The movement 
holds forth immense pregnant possibilities. 

The Ratnagiri Hindu Sabha reconverted from the middle 
of 1926 and onwards several persons to the Hirfdu fold with 
prescribed religious ceremonials. The Christian missionaries 
were enraged at this ; so they warned a certain boy, who was 
reconverted to Hinduism, not to pass by the mission quarters 
lest other boys should catch the contagious idea that converts 
could again become Hindus ! The most difficult problem 
which ai'ose from this reconversion movement was the 
marriage problem of the reconverted persons. The Ratnagiri 
Hindu Sabha, in its earlj^ stage, had vigorously supported 
the marriage of Sri Tukojirao, Maharaja of Indore, with 
Miss Miller, an American lady, and even had expressed its 
readiness to arrange for a priest to perform the marriage 
ceremony. The Sabha in the beginning got two reconverted 
girls married to two Hindu gentlemen under the direction of 
Savarkar, who performed the marriage rites himself. 
Orthodoxy shook to its roots at this ! Later, during 
Savarkar’s internment, about two hundred persons were saved 


from the clutches of non-Hindu Missions. Diseased and 
disabled Hindu children were reared up by some Sanghatanists 
and were prevented from being handed over to the non-Hindu 
forces. The main support of money and sympathy for the 
work of Sri Vinayak Maharaj Masurkar, while his reconver- 
sion movement was going on in Goa, came from Ratnagiri, 
the stronghold of Savarkarism. 

The reconversion movement was a war. It really aimed at 
bringing the senseless to their senses ! And a war with the 
Hindu orthodoxy was a w^u' indirectly with the Maulavies and 
Missionaries. Displeased at the new movement of Reconver- 
sion, the Muslims and Missionaries lodged complaints against 
Savarkai- with the Disti-ict Magistrate, who happened to 
be a Muslim, charging Savarkar with creating communal 
disharmony and tension in the District. Out went a 
thundering rejoinder in the next month from the Ratnagiri 
Hindus into the hands of H.E. the Governor of Bombay, 
Sir Leslie Wilson, justifying the stand taken by Savarkar 
and the cause espoused by him. This neutralised and nullified 
the complaints of the opposite camps. Savarkar told the 
District Magistrate that if the movement of Reconversion 
created tension, why should the movement of Conversion also 
be not considered so ? He emphasized that if at all anybody 
was to be held responsible for the tension, the Missionaries 
and Maulavies should be held so because they had started the 
conversion movement first. Reconversion followed the 
Conversion movement. Moreover, he added that his was not 
an aggressive or unjust movement carried on in the far-off 
corners of America or Turkey. He was doing sacred work 
in his own country, which had been exploited in her fallen 
days by foreign faiths. It was a strange attitude on the part 
of a Government that allowed robbers to commit robberies 
and prohibited the owners from protecting and defending 
their property ! But in this unfortunate land those were the 
times when a politician like Mr. Mahomed Ali, who expressed 
his unholy desire to divide the Depressed Classes equally 
between Hindus and Muslims, from the Presidential Chair of 
the Indian National Congress, was eulogised as a patriotic and 
a nationalist leader ! And at the same time the Reconversion 
movement was decried as anti-national and a force of 


reactionarism, and its leaders from Shraddhananda to Lajpat 
Rai, and from Moonje to Savarkar, were decried as 
communalists and reactionaries by those so-called rationalists 
and ‘ super ’-nationalists, who upheld and regarded the 
Khilafat Movement of a frankly reUgious and medieval colour 
as a glorious spectacle ! Did not Mr. Yakub Hasan, while 
presenting an address to Gandhiji at Madras, openly enjoin 
upon the Mussulmans to convert all the untouchables in India 
to Islam ? ' And was he not in the eyes of the Congress 
more patriotic, progressive and a truer nationalist thiin 
Moonje or Parmananda ? To the Congressmen the Khilaiat 
leaders, who sent their congratulations to the Moplahs on their 
‘ brave ’ fight for religion, were progressive and pati iotic 
leaders ! ! Can there be any nationalism worse than this kind 
of deceptive and disruptive nationalism ? The “ communal- 
ism ” of the Hindu Sanghatanists was righteous ; because it 
was bred in self-defence ; the “ nationalism ” of the upholders 
and supporters of the Khilafat was perverse, because it 
nourished anti-national feelings among the Muslims ! ! 


The question of Temple Entry for the untouchables cropped 
up in 1925. The orthodox quarters were alarmed. They 
shouted that their Religion, God and Traditions were in 
danger. Their religion and traditions and customs welcomed 
an untouchable provided he became a Mohammad or a Minto. 
The orthodox touched animals like bullocks and buffaloes, 
could endure the presence of a dog or a cat in their houses, 
but not the presence of their co-religionist Hindu Mahars or 
Hindu Bhangis though they were human beings ! ! They 
feared that their sacred God would be polluted by the mere 
sight of a Hindu Bhangi ! “ He is not God who can be 
desecrated ” went the epigrammatic Savarkarian reply to the 
orthodox. Savarkar holds that those men, who regard such 
inhuman faith as abhors the touch of a human being, and yet 
gladly touches animals like dogs and cats, are themselves a 
blot on humanity. It is they who are really fallen and not 
the “ untouchables ” ! Removal of untouchability, therefore. 

J Young India, dated 8-9-1920. 



implies purification and salvation of such misguided orthodox 
touchables also ! 

Orthodoxy began to collapse under such ruthless arguments. 
To puU down the steel walls of orthodoxy, Savarkar started 
Pan-Hindu Ganesh festivals in 1925. He transformed the 
Ganesh Festival started by Tilak into a Pan-Hindu Festival. 
An untouchable was not allowed for ages within the precincts 
of the Hindu sanctuaries. By and by the question of temple 
entry was discussed wiili wisdom and vehemence during the 
days of Ganesh Festival The untouchables were brought into 
the hall of the Vithoba Temple in Ratnagiri, the most impor- 
tant temple in the Ratnagiri District. Then in November 1929, 
took place an event of far-reaching consequences. All the city 
was agog. The City Magistrate was present by a special 
order to see that the proceedings of the public meeting, held 
in the Vithoba Temple of Ratnagiri to decide the question of 
the entry of the untouchables into the Vithoba Temple, came 
off peacefully. 

The momentous meeting began. Savarkar’s convincing 
speech swept away doubts, hesitation and misgivings which 
were lurking in the minds of the opponents. 

The Magistrate himself having been carried off his feet by 
the force and faith of Savarkar’s speech, forgot his entity, 
rose and exclaimed, “ Now who and what remain to be 
convinced ? ” None came forward. It was a unique triumph 
for Savarkar. Amidst flickering opposition and deafening 
exclamations, the untouchables entered the Vithoba Temple 
of Ratnagiri, step by step, singing gracefully and gratefully 
the glory of “ one God, one goal, one language, one country 
and one Nation.” With great feelings and devotional eyes the 
densely crowded meeting saw the historic spectacle, the first 
of its kind in the history of Hindusthan ! As the age-long 
sufferers followed their children who climbed the steps of the 
temple one by one, singing the song, their hearts throbbed, 
and eyes glowed. The song was specially composed in 
Marathi by Savarkar himself for the occasion ! It read : 

The Impurity of ages is gone 
Scripture-born stamp is tom 
The age-long struggle is ended 




The net of enemies shredded 
The slave of ages hoary ! 

Now is a brother in glory ! 

The Bhageshwar Temple in the Ratnagiri Fort was also 
declared open to all Hindus at a meeting held under the 
chairmansliip of Shrimat Shankaracharya, the religious head 
of the Hindus. Sri Shankaracharya was garlanded on the 
occasion by a Hindu Bhangi as the representative of the 
Ratnagiri Hindus. The scene was reminiscent of the first 
Shankaracharya, who had embraced centuries ago a pantheist 
untouchable while returning from his bath in the Ganges ! 

A Pan-Hindu band was trained and it replaced the 
non-Hindu bands. The Hindu band attended festivals and 
functions. Women of Ratnagiri performed to the shock of 
Maharashtra and Hindusthan their Haldi-Kumkum ceremony 
on a Pan-Hindu basis. During the Pan-Hindu Ganpati 
festivals a Bhangi Hindu sang Vedic hymns and Gayatri 
Mantrarn, the sacred privilege enjoyed so far by the Brahmins 
alone. The incident echoed throughout India. The Times of 
India, Bombay, styled it as a sacrilegious prize. The event 
resounded through some London papers too ! On another 
occasion a Bhangi family needed a priest for a marriage 
ceremony. The Mahar Hindus being the Brahmins of the 
Bhangis, their priest declined to perform the ceremony. The 
Hindu Sabha thereupon sent a Brahmin priest, and he 
performed the ceremony. 

Soon the movement gained gi'ound and grew gradually 
popular. While the struggle for opening temples to the 
untouchables was forging ahead, Savarkar was thinkin g of 
having a Pan-Hindu Temple with a view to giving an impetus 
to the temple entry movement. He held that the youths 
trained in the new ideology would throw open the doors of 
the remaining temples to the untouchables when they would 
become trustees of the temples. So he approached Seth 
Bhagoji Baloji Keer, the famous temple-builder of Maha- 
rashtra, who fervently believed that Savarkar’s inspiration 
was God’s call ! He summarily and spontaneously silenced 
Savarkar’s opponents by telling them that Savarkar’s name 
was Vinayak and Vinayak was the name of God Ganapati ! In 



deference to Savarkar’s wishes Seth Bhagoji built in February 
1931 a magnificent temple known as the Patit Pavan Temple 
in Ratnagiri wherein aU Hindus irrespective of caste could 
assemble for prayers. This was an epoch-making achievement 
of Savarkarian movement. This monumental Pan-Hindu 
temple was the fust to stand in the history of Hindusthan open 
for Pan-Hiudu worship, Pan-Hindu functions and Pan-Hindu 
propaganda. An event of new hope, new era, new light, and 
new history ! 

The opening ceremony of the temple came off on a grand 
scale. Acharyas, Slianharacharyas, pundits and patriots 
declared Ratnagiri a place of pilgrimage. In fact, as one 
speaker then put it, Ratnagiri became the new Kashi of the 
re-awakened, purified and unified Hindudom where a Hindu 
scavenger acted as a priest, persons from the so-called 
Depressed Classes delivered Kathas, Mahars read the sacred 
Gita, Brahmins garlanded and bowed themselves before these 
priests and kathekaries ; and Brahmin youths conducted a 
Pan-Hindu Hotel. Indeed, the Patit Pavan Temple came to 
be the university of the Pan-Hindu Movement. 

Prohibition of one caste from dining with another was the 
keystone upon which the arch of the caste system mainly 
rested. Savarkar decided to strike a fatal blow at this 
keystone. He contemplated inter-caste Pan-Hindu dinners. 
As usual orthodox Hindus opposed the idea vehemently. 
Savarkar, however, silenced their learned spokesmen by 
throwing at their faces extracts from their own scriptures 
and Holy Works that sang that God Krishna dined with 
Vidura, a son born of a maid-servant, and that their great 
Brahmin Rishi, Durvasa, dined along with his numerous 
disciples at the Pandavas’ who were Kshatriyas ! Yet, it was 
not easy to hold a Pan-Hindu dinner. The movement 
developed gradually from private quarters to public places. 
And then came off the first public Pan-Hindu dinner 
popularly known all over India as Sahahhojan, in a theatre in 
1930. This was the acid test to know who were the real 
seasoned reformers and who were seasonal. What a horrifying 
event it was in the eyes of old traditions ! Upto this time 
even the beggars recoiled from touching the food of the 
Pan-Hindu dinner. Mahars refused to eat with the Bhangis 


and Bhangis with the Dhors. The Depressed Classes desired 
to eat with the caste-Hindus but not with the different 
sub-classes from amongst themselves. Onlookers thronged to 
see the neo-function, and Ratnagiri was the subject of 
headlines all over India. 

In its “ current topics ” the Times of India, Bombay, writing 
on the subject, observes in its issue of December 9, 1930 : 
“ This all-caste dinner was celebrated in a unique manner — 
a manner that has given deep offence to Nationalist 
Congressmen, who are mostly believers along with Mr. Gandhi 
in foiur watertight castes by birth. For, at Ratnagiri some 
enthiisiastic reformers, who regarded caste system as the 
bane of Hinduism, held an all-caste dinner which was attended 
by Brahmins, Banias, Chambhars, Mahars and Bhangis ! ” 
Styling it as a bold creed, the writer goes on : “ What is still 
more interesting, the spirit of this splendid essay in practical 
reform, Mr. V. D. Savarkar, delivered a speech in which he 
flung into the teeth of orthodoxy the daring credo of his party. 

‘ From today I shall not believe in highness or lowness of 
caste. I shall not oppose the intermarriage between the 
highest and lowest castes. I shall eat with any Hindu 
irrespective of caste. I shall not believe in caste by birth 
or by profession and henceforth I shall call myself a Hindu 
only — ^not Brahmin, Vaishya, etc.’ ” 

Savarkar incessantly preached : “ Eat with anybody. Eat 
anything that is medically fit and clean. That does not deprive 
you of yoiu: religion. Remember the root of religion is not 
the dish or the stomach, but the heart, soul and the blood ! ” 
The names of those persons, who took part in the all-caste 
dinners, were published in newspapers to the surprise and 
shock of their orthodox relations ! 

The first week of the opening ceremony of the Patit Pavan 
Temple saw the biggest of such Pan-Hindu Dinners in India. 
The reactions to the Pan-Hindu dinner were tremendous. 
Acharyas took to their heels and saints went head over heels. 
Cow-worshippers thou^t it beneath their dignity to honour 
human beings and eat with men who were their co-religionists ! 
There were some who did everything else for the movement, 
but declined to eat with all classes. Their heads agreed, but 
hearts disagreed ! At last their dilemma was solved, when 



Savarkar, who held that social reforms settled down more 
permanently if they were effected with full consideration and 
conciliation, accepted a compromise which allowed the 
no-changers to take their dinner by sitting not in the line with 
the revolutionary reformists, but in another row facing them. 
Orthodoxy clamoured and raised a hue and cry in the city ! 
Rumours were afloat in the neighbouring villages that the 
all-caste dinner would cost the reformers dear and that a rift 
was visible in the ranks of the reformers. 

When the beggars saw lawyers, leaders, Divans, merchants, 
doctors, big and respectable men of all castes sharing food in 
a commimion, they, too, expressed their willingness to accept 
the Pan-Hindu food which they had declined to accept on the 
previous occasion ! But now Savarkar would not offer them 
the food unless they also sat in one and the same row irrespec- 
tive of castes. And ultimately they did so ! At last Pan-Hindu 
sense and mentality came to stay. Karmaveer V. R. Shinde, 
a great social reformer of the Deccan, rejoiced to see what 
his D. C. Mission aimed at was both preached and practised 
in Ratnagiri. Overwhelmed with grateful tears, he acclaimed 
Savarkar as the real Patit Pavan of the Hindus, the saviour 
of the fallen and trodden. It was a noble appreciation and 
correct assessment of a great achievement ! Some leaders, 
who witnessed the practical reforms, called Savarkar 
Sanghatanacharya — ^Master-brain at organisation — and others 
described him as their Skankaracharya, the supreme head of 
New Hinduism ! 

Every revolution has its convulsions and revelations. 
Defeated at all other points orthodox Hindus and non-Hindus 
now threatened Savarkar’s life. In many families dissensions 
arose. Unpleasant words were said and heard between sons 
and fathers, wives and husbands. Harsh gestures were 
exchanged between friends, and estrangement rankled 
amongst relations. Newly married girls were forbidden to 
see the faces of their reformist parents, brothers or relatives. 
A married girl in one case perished in her illness despite her 
father’s fervent entreaties to her father-in-law to send her 
to him for medical treatment. The father of the girl was asked 
to withdraw his support and devotion to Savarkarian ideology, 
but he did not yield ! 


Half-hearted reformists were trapped and they repented in 
sack-cloth and ashes. If some one from Savarkar’s camp f('U 
ill, whispers and vilification would attribute the illness oi- 
misfortune to God’s wrath ; and Savarkar would retort that 
even his cat was still unaffected. All the while Sax'arkaj- 
infused courage into the minds of Iris followers with his 
undying dictum: “Reform implies always a minority, custom 
means a majority. Have undeviating faith in your mission 
and courage of conviction, and you will successfully overcomo 
the forces of reactionaries ! ” 


This was the model moulded in a District-wid<' movemejil 
of Savarkarian Revolution which echoed throughout Hindu- 
.sthan and had its reverberations even in the London 
papers. Savarkar succeeded where prophets, philosophers 
and emperors had failed. A man who had to rot for fourteen 
youthful years in the most dreadful jail and again was 
interned for over another thirteen years in Ratnagiri and was 
forbidden to participate publicly or privately in any political 
activities, had worked this miracle. All this happened a 
c-on.siderable time before Gandhiji made the Harijan uplift one 
of the chief planks of his activities ! 

Savarkar’s approach to untouchability, the age-long cor- 
roding current of evil, and his potent remedy and method foj- 
its abolition were as rational and constructive as they were 
fearless, fundamental and far-reaching. There had been in 
the past rationalists like Agarkar, and institutions like the 
Arya Samaj, the Brahmo Samaj and the Prarthana Samaj 
working for that cause. Later, there followed also the great 
personality of Gandhiji in the field. There were some showy, 
touchy, and fashionable learned men who expressed lip 
sympathy in spotless diction for the Depressed Classes in 
order to please and show the ruling bosses their radical views ! 
But Savarkar’s angle of vision fundamentally differed from 
those of such institutions and personalities. Western ideas of 
Equality, Fraternity and Liberty dominated the motives of the 
rationalist group led by Ranade. Revolt against orthodox Hin- 
duism and re-orientalization of Hinduism were the objects of 


the Arya Samaj ; electicisra was the aim of the Brahmo Samaj 
and Prarthana Samaj. Agarkar was an unbridled rationalist, 
a lonely giant. He had no genius for constructive work. The 
Arya Samajists compromised their prophet’s .stand by mixing 
their identity with the Gandhian principles, lost sight of its 
political impact, and lost their vitality, fervour, and firmness ! 
Though Gandhij.i believed in the caste system, he wanted to 
remove untouchahility. But his Harijan movement was any- 
thing but Hindu, though tb money for the cause came mainly 
from the Hindus 

Gandhiji never raised his Little finger against the pro.sely- 
tizing greed of the Maulavies and Missionaries and observed 
reticence about it ! But even then it was his fortune that he 
received wreaths for his work for the Depressed Classes while 
Savarkar faced the wrath of all non-Hindu missionaries ! 
Like all positive and powerful reformers, Savarkar wielded 
the force, construction and hammer of Luthei- ! And a Luther 
is not born for laurels. Savarkar 's one aim was to purge 
Hinduism of its most baneful superstitions and orthodox 
bigotry. His reformative zeal did not aim at the denunciation 
of Hinduism. He strove for its revival in the light of modern 
times and to ensure its survival. That was why ho was 
offensive inside and defensive outside. He aimed at moulding 
the different castes of the Hindus into a classless Hindu 
society in which all Hindus would be by birth socially, eco- 
nomically and p>olitically equal ! Rational, nationalistic and 
revolutionary in outlook, his ideology was as deep-rooted as it 
was far-reaching, and looked to the prosperity and peace of 
the Hindu society, Hindu life, Hindusthan and ultimately 
universal welfare. His was not the work of a fashionable 
reformer, or a showy rationalist, or a wordy humanist. His 
was a mission for a great cause for the emergence of Hindu- 
sthan as a world power to play her destined part in the comity 
of nations. 

Two decades ago he admonished the Hindus to break off 
the seven shackles that hindered the progress of the Hindu 
society. He fought for temple entry, popularised Pan-Hindu 
dinners, naturalised Shuddhi-reconversion, anniliilated the 
belief in highness and lowness of birth, favoured intercaste 
marriages, and ridiculed the injunctions on caste-ridden 


vocations and sea-voyage. The power and faith of the Savar- 
karian movement depended for its vitality and goal upon the 
elixir of Shuddhi and Science which hold the key not only to 
Indian peace and prosperity, but also to the destinies of the 
Middle East and Far East, the one-time tributaries of Hindu 
life ! In one of his songs he visualized that the Hindus after 
achieving freedom would liberate all subject nations under 
the sun, and would help them establish love, equality and peace 
for the progress of humanity. And it was towards this end 
that all his Sanghatanist movement was directed. Savarkar 
preached and worked for the abolition of untouchability with 
imparalleled success when few of his great contemporaries 
were thinking of the removal of the untouchability, and a 
majority of them had not gauged its significance. 

Restricted in his activities, shadowed by spies, Savarkar 
thus shelled one of the strongest holds of the Hindu orthodoxy 
in India. For this signal achievement he applied the battery 
of his oratory, poured in his volcanic energy, utilized the fund 
of his resourceful erudition and the flow of his volcanic pen. 
He used platform, press, examination centres, theatres, circus- 
tents, festivals, fares and functions for popularizing the Move- 
ment, and whipped the people into a revolt. The forces of 
conservatism and orthodoxy tottered before his powerful 
personality, and the bees that had nestled in the barriers of 
the caste system tried to fling their poisonous stings into his 
body, but failed. For, every Luther is born with an impene- 
trable armour ! 

The revolution in the Ratnagiri District was an unparalleled 
success; so much so that Karmaveer Shinde, hearing the 
news of Savarkar’s unconditional release in May 1937, 
remarked that had Savarkar’s activities been restricted to 
social revolution only, he would have banished untouchability 
altogether from the face of India within five years. Worthy 
was the glowing tribute and noble appreciation made by a 
writer in a special issue of Dr. Ambedkar’s Janata that 
Savarkar’s service to the cause of the imtouchables was as 
decisive and great as that of Gautama Buddha himself. Sri 
Kakasahib Barve, his contemporary, and President, Maha- 
rashtra Provincial Harijan Sevak Sangh, in his Presidential 
Address at a Conference at Sangli, in July 1945, expressed 


the view that had Savarkar continued his intense work in the 
cause of the removal of untouchahility, his contribution would 
have given a tremendous impetn'T to the movement ! 

Thus it can be seen that the itality of Lord Buddha, who 
raised a revolt against untouc^ ability, the virility of Shivaji, 
who purf osefully hammered j!s corners that lay in his way, 
the vigour of Dayananda, who strove to bury it, are aU crys- 
tallized in the revolutionar’ philosophy of Savarkar whose 
approach to the problem xc; predominantly political and 
fundamentally social. 


Savarkar’s propaganda was not one-sided. With a batch of 
his workers, he visited the slums and squalid dens, hamlets 
and hills, villages and towns where the untouchables lived. 
This batch studied their ways of living, taught them cleanli- 
ness, guided them, and worshipped with them. They took 
the Chambhars into the quarters and temples of the Mahars 
and the Bhangis into the quarters and temples of the Dhors. 

The discussions and debates with opponents over the burn- 
ing problem of Shuddhi-Reconversion and Hindu organisation 
stormed and abated. Stirring speeches and moving appeals 
would go on till early dawn. The next morning saw Savarkar 
in another village and so his propaganda went on. Savarkar 
was then in the best of his health. Men of wealth, distinction 
and status followed him climbing zig-zag distances and dales 
with cheer. In fact, all the Indian leaders, whose names are 
connected with the removal of untouchability, have not seen 
as many quarters of the untouchables as Savarkar has done. 
The suppressed humanity watched and sat far into the night 
with bewilderment and hope, and crowded for the darshan 
of Savarkar, the Saviour of the fallen Hindus, who opened 
to them the gates of the Temples of God, Man and Light ! 

Savarkar also attended and presided over the conferences 
of the .so-called untouchables. In June 1929 he was received 
with great ovation at Malvan in the southern part of the 
Ratnagiri District, where he presided over the Conference of 
the Depressed Classes of the Konkan Division. The Confer- 
ence sang Vedic hymns in a body. Savarkar distributed the 


sacred threads among the so-called untouchable Hindus and 
declared amid great applause : “ A battle royal has been 
raging for the last seven generations over the right of studying 
the Vedas, Here are the Vedas, Here is the sacred thread. 
Take these two. Is that all ? Even non-Hindus read the 
Vedas, Why should not the Hindu Mahars read them ? The 
feud over this problem was a useless task. Let us expiate the 
sins we committed. We are all responsible for our political 
subjugation. That is the past. Now let us declare on oath 
that we shall rectify our past blunders and win back our weal, 
wealth and glory.’’ Sri P. N. Rajbhoj, a volatile leader of the 
Depressed Classes from Poona, who was present at the Con- 
ference, observed : “ I was really sceptical of the Savarkarian 
movement at the beginning. My contact and discussions 
with Barrister Savarkar and my personal observation have 
thoroughly convinced me of its far-reaching effect. I am 
extremely rejoiced to declare that this famous leader of the 
political revolutionaries is also an out and out social revo- 
lutionist ! ” 

Another notable Conference was held in the Patii Pavan 
Temple at Ratnagiri just after the temple was opened during 
the last week of February 1931, under the aegis of the D.C. 
Mission led by Karmaveer V. R. Shinde. This was the Mis- 
sion’s Sixth Annual Session and Wiis presided over by 
Savarkar. All the workers and leaders of the D.C. Mission 
and other leaders of the so-called Depressed Classes were 
thrilled to survey the achievement of this Savarkarian move- 
ment. One after another they acknowledged gratefully that 
their dreams were brought into reality by Savarkar in Ratna- 
giri. They repeated that if the atmosphere of Ratnagiri 
captivated all the parts of India, there would be no untouch- 
ability left in the land. 

A third Conference was held on April 26, 1931. It was the 
Ratnagiri District Somavanshiya Mahar Conference. Savar- 
kar presided over it. It was attended by hundreds of Mahars 
from all corners of the District. The Mahars had poured in 
the city as they heard that ‘ Pandhari ’ was shifted to Ratna- 
giri where they were allowed to enter the temple and worship 
God — an unbelievable thing for them — a thing for which they 
had pined for ages ! 



Savarkf r\s teachings and message to the untouchables were 
appealing. He asked them to live a simple life, and to shed 
their inherent inferiority complex. He admonished tlien) : 
‘^Y(air weakness is worse than the wickedness of the caste 
Hindus. For your own welfare you must also sufTcr with 
fortitude and faith. You want rights, but you are not prepared 
to pay the price. Be men. Know that you arc men. If some- 
one .scolds you for your proximity on the public road, tell 
him that the public road is not the property of his father. 
Do not abandon your occunations. Stick to thon and improve 
them. Every occupation has its value. Live a dean and 
temperate life. Never disown your fathers, saints, and blood. 
Do not observe untouchability among yourselves. Always 
treat with equality and kindness all the sub-castes amongst 
your own so-called Depressed Classes. That is also your duty. 
Forget it not ! ’’ 

Savarkar sounded a warning to the extremist leaders of the 
so-called untouchables in particular, who wished to have 
Brahmin girls in marriages for untouchable youths. Savarkar 
considered this view to be mistaken, extra^'agant, and un- 
justifiable. To break off the barrier of caste system, he 
observexi, in respect of marriages did not mean compulsory 
and forced marriages. According to him many things besides 
caste governed matrimonial alliances. “ If a Hindu girl,” he 
wrote, “ selects as her husband any Hindu youth who does not 
belong to her caste or vice and if the couple is other- 
wise fit for matrimony the marriage should not be condemned, 
nor the couple be regarded as outcast on that account alone ! ” 
As for the marriage of a Hindu with a non-Hindu, he was 
opposed to it if it took place without bringing the partner 
into the Hindu fold. According to him such a precaution was 
necessary for the collective good of the Hindu Nation. 

Savarkar’s love of Hindu religion was not narrow-minded 
either. He said : “ When a non-Hindu worships or a Moham- 
medan merges into humanity melting his religious libido, the 
Hindus, too, shall dissolve their separate entity.” “ Till then,” 
Savarkar observed, ‘^it is necessary that the Hindus should 
be within their bonds. It is against the creed of humanity 
itself, if we ignore stark realities of life.” 


To the so-called caste Hindus his piece of advice was that 
they should be prepared to adopt even the pursuit of 
sweepers. There should be no monopoly in any field. He 
advised the non-Brahmins to administer to their own religious 
and sacramental life themselves and told them that there was 
no need of an authorised intermediary between them and God. 
“ The moment you resolve not to invite the Bhat (Brahmin) 
to perform religious functions, Bhatshahi collapses like a pack 
of cards,” he wrote. Learning and expounding the scriptures 
or sacerdocy should not be the monopoly of one particular 
class. Prestige and authority should be justified by individual 
achievement and not by caste, he opined. Priests, irrespective 
of caste, should be certified as are our doctors, asserted 


Savarkar’s life in Ratnagiri was full of other activities also. 
It was in Ratnagiri that the famous Pan-Hindu anthem vras 
composed by him and was first sung. Ratnagiri is the birth- 
place of the Pan-Hindu Flag which was first flown by Sri 
Ramananda Chatter jee. President of the All-India Hindu 
Mahasabha at its Surat session in 1929, and was ultimately 
adopted by the All-India Hindu Mahasabha as the Pan-Hindu 
Flag at Lahore in 1936. It was the Ratnagiri Hindu Sabha 
that remembered and sent its grateful homage to Nepal then 
the only Independent Hindu Kingdom in the world and 
appealed to her to make her arm stronger for the sake of 
Hindudom. It was the Ratnagiri Hindu Sabha again that 
declared Nagari script and Sanskritised Hindi to be the 
National Script and Lingua Franca of Hindusthan ! 

Ratnagiri Hindu Sabha did a tremendous work in the cause 
of Swadeshi also. Savarkar and his colleagues visited the 
market places, lanes and by-lanes, and sent children selling 
and propagating Swadeshi articles as hawkers do. Savarkar 
himsdf saw individually every shop-keeper, entreated and 
insisted on the purchase of Swadeshi goods like soap, sugar, 
bangles, paper and many other articles of Indian make. One 
can easily imagine what amount of humiliation, exhausting 
patience and personal pecuniary loss Savarkar must have 


undergone at the hands of insolent, illiterate and even so- 
called progressive but unpatriotic countrymen ! 

It was again Savarkar who attracted with great persuasion 
the Hindus to the trade of Bed-making. To that end he him- 
self learnt the art of carding cotton with the carding-bow. 
He then induced Hindu youths to follow the vocation and 
thus the Ratnagiri Hindus had beds prepared by Hindus. 

The most vociferous and effective was the movement 
launched for the purification of the Marathi language. The 
question had been agitating great minds for decades. But it 
was left to Savarkar to crown the movement with triixmph. 

Shivaji had set up a committee to compile a Dictionary of 
pure Marathi words. The Rajyavyavdharkosh was compiled 
by Raghunath Pandit and others appointed by Shivaji the 
Great. The rise of the English Language added to the difficul- 
ties of Marathi which had been, to a great extent, already 
influenced by the Urdu and Persian languages. A nation 
must keep its mother tongue alive, its cherished heritage un- 
defiled, its values and cotmotation unaffected. In the life of 
every nation the problem of purification of its language does 
arise. There has been a growing desire for the original and 
native forms of mother-speech in England too. Stating that 
there should be as much reverence and affection for one’s 
native tongue as for the country and home, Frank H. Callan, 
author of Excellence in English, observes : “ As we naturally 
and rightly resent and stand against all foreign incursions 
that may injure and corrupt the land of our birth and the 
scene of our infancy and childhood, desiring nothing so much 
as to preserve their integrity and familiar attractiveness, so 
in like manner we ought to guard nothing more jealously 
than the primitive purity and individuality of our language.” ^ 

Mr. Callan tells us that Defoe was against Latinized syntax 
and style of Elnglish. Swift employed his genius to resist Gaelic 
foreign tendencies in English prose. Gibbon was saturated 
with French; Johnson gave undue preference to Latin; and 
Carlyle was full of German constructions. All the three, says 
Callan, impeded the movement.^ Lamb played an important 
role in the purification of the English language and Dryden 

1 Frank H. Callan, Excellence in English, p. 370. 

2 /bid., p. 383. 


and Shakespeare were pure English writers. So was 

Ireland’s great movement for the revival and resurrection 
of her mother tongue and its purification is too well-known. 

In India the flag of the momentous movement of purification 
of the language was unfmded by Savarkar. Savarkar was 
against Urduised and Persianised Hindi or Marathi, as they 
eliminated Marathi and Hindi synonyms and impoverished 
the Marathi and Hindi Languages. He, therefore, launched 
a movement for the purification of the Marathi language. 
Battles were joined on the issue. After an untiring cainpaigi^ 
the rational and national importance was realized and some 
of the opponents turned into its supporters. Some spineless 
ones conceded the principle, but fastidiously liiggled about tlie 
details. Some came to respect it, and still a few croak 
against it. 

But the Maharashtra Literary Conference at its Jalgaon 
Session accepted the principle of purification of the Marathi 
language. Dr. Patwardhan, D.Lit., a great Marathi poet, was 
first enamoured of foreign woixls. But when he was convinced 
of the righteousness of Savarkar’s stand, he re-wrote his 
poetry in undefiled Marathi ! Such was the glow of Savar- 
kar s movement. New words were coined. Dictionaries oi 
pure Marathi words to substitute Urdu and Persian words 
were compiled and published by Bhide Guruji and Dr. Pat- 
wardhan. The words gained ground and public sanction. 
The critics, too, unwittingly influenced by the psychology, are 
helping the movement by using the new words, and thus the 
purification of Marathi has come to stay. 

Savarkar did not stop here. His movement was essentially 
an All-India urge. Hence he suggested that all those, who 
stood for pure Hindi and for the preservation of the purity 
of the Indian languages, should meet in an All-India Confer- 
ence to devise ways and means, and launch a nation-wide 
movement for the purity of the Hindi and other languages. 
Savarkar also suggested reforms in the Devanagari script and 
reduced it to fifty-six letters for the convenience of the press. 
In respect of the Nagari script, he made an appeal to all 
provincial newspapers to print in every issue at least two 
columns of matter in their provincial languages in the Nagari 


script. If all the provincial languages of India are printed in 
the Nagari script, what immense cohesion, understanding and 
advancement will be achieved ! It is said that Dr. Ambedkar 
holds the same view on the subject. It has been the charac- 
teristic of great Maharashtrians that they never disagreed 
on fundamentals, although they might have differed in 
degree. Tilak, Gokhale, Kelkar and Ambedkar all exhibited 
ultimate unity in essentials and liberty in non-essentials. 
Their objects were one, though their means at times differed. 
The movement of the i/^rification of language scored its 
triumph when Hindi wiJi’ Devanagari script was adopted 
by the Constituent Assonibl> of India as the Lingua Franca 
of India in preference to Hindusthani, another name of Urdu. 

Savarkar’s stay in Ratnagiri attracted several pundits and 
patriots of all-India fame. One of the early visitors to 
Savarkar in Ratnagiri was the great founder of the R.S.S., 
Dr. K. B. Hedgewar. Tlie interview took place in 1925 at 
Shirgaon, a village on the outskirts of Ratnagiri. Savarkar’s 
monumental work Hindutva giving ideas of the fundamentals 
of Hindu Nationalism and Hindu State had just appeared on 
the scene and captivated and inspired many great brains and 
great hearts. Before starting the volunteer organisation 
known as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Dr. Hedgewar 
had a long discussion with Savarkar over the faith, form and 
future of the organisation. A great Hindu leader and an 
unbending upright nationalist, Dr. Hedgewar wanted to 
conserve and dir€?ct the energy of Hindu youths towards all- 
round uplift of the Hindu Nation. After the collapse of the 
Non-co-operation Movement of Gandhiji and the fiasco of the 
Khilafat Movement, the country lay prostrate and chaos and 
confusion reigned in the student world. In the wake of this 
confusion and in consultation with Savarkar and others, 
Hedgewar decided to build up an organisation to supply the 
Hindu society with power and pillars. 

During his visit to Bombay in September 1924, Savarkar 
came across Maulana Shaukat Ali. The Muslim leader paid 
glowing tribute to Savarkar for his patriotism and sacrifice, 
but he said that he disliked Savarkar’s Hindu Sanghatan 
ideology, and wished that it should be stopped. Thereupon 



Savarkar asked the Muslim leader to stop his Khilafat Move- 
ment first if he wanted him to stop Hindu Sanghatan Move- 
ment. Shaukat Ali replied that the Khilafat Movement was 
the breath of his nostrils. Savarkar told him that as long as 
there were separate organisations for the Muslims and the 
movement of conversion was carried on by them, so long the 
movement of Hindu Sanghatan and the propaganda for re- 
conversion would go on unabated. Then the Muslim leader 
told Savarkar that the Muslims had many other countries 
and they would leave India, if inevitable. Savarkar at once 
answered back, “ O quite freely. Why do you wait ? The 
Frontier Mail is daily running towards that direction ! ” 
Shaukat Ali was now quite nervous. While taking Savarkar’s 
leave, he cut a joke to make up the loss he suffered in argu- 
ments with Savarkar. With a bitter tone he said he was a giant 
and Savarkar was a dwarf and that he could punch Savarkar 
easily. “ Here,” said Savarkar sharply, “ I am not disinclined 
to accept your challenge ! Come on ! You know Shivaji 
was also a dwarf before the giant Afzulkhan. They had a 
meeting ! And everybody knows what was the history 
afterwards.” The Muslim leader lost his face and stepped out. 

Here is one of the most important interviews Savarkar had 
during his internment. Gandhiji saw Savarkar in March 1927 
at the latter’s residence in Ratnagiri. It was after nearly 
eighteen years that Gandhiji was now meeting his old oppo- 
nent of London days. However of different stamps, the great 
ones recognise great forces. The real object of Gandhiji was 
to see whether the revolutionary volcano was now extinct, 
or a spent force, or still burning. During the course of the 
interview, Gandhiji told Savarkar with a pleasant smile that 
he would have stayed with Savarkar in Ratnagiri, the birth- 
place of Tilak, and the abode of Savarkar, for a day or two 
had his programme been not already fixed. Savarkar replied 
that he would have also been glad to entertain him, but agreed 
that Gandhiji should go on with his great mission of arousing 
the nation’s enthusiasm for the Freedom Movement, as 
Gandhiji was fortunately free to do so. Then the problem of 
Shuddhi was discussed and the conversation between the two 
leaders ran as follows : — 

Savarkar : Well, what are your views on Shuddhi ? 


Gandhiji : To me the view that a man loses his religion 
is absurd. 

Savarkar : In a way you are right. But as our caste 
system and tradition have laid down that under certain 
circumstances a man loses his religion, it is necessary to 
set the matter right by adopting such remedies and rites 
as would enable us to restore the reconverted man to his 
society. Wliat is the harm in doing such a thing ? Both 
the society and the new-comer thei’eby get mental 

Gandhiji : I have no ol»jeotion. It will do no harm if you 
have .such a ceremonj'. But although I believe in recon- 
version of a person, who was forcibly or deceitfully 
converted to an alien faith, I am not for reconversions of 
persons whose ancestors have changed faiths decades ago. 
Nor do I uphold the conversions of persons from other 
religions. Because I believe that it is better to die while 
observing one’s own religion than to embrace other 
religion. None should be persuaded to change his or her 
faith. It should be left to the will of the person. 

Savarkar : Yes, after weighing carefully what is good for 
the betterment of one’s own happiness, a man should 
decide the means. 'That is freedom of thought. The mes- 
sage of Hinduism is practical as well as spiritual, passive 
as well as active. It says on the one hand that it is better 
to die under the domain of one’s own religion, and on the 
other, that it is better to transform the world into an 
Ai’yan Religion. 

Gandhiji ; The aim of both of us is the same. We both 
strive for the glory of Hinduism and Hindusthan. 

Gandhiji was now doubly sure that the faith and fire in 
Savarkar was unaffected even by the tortures and tribula- 
tions of the jail life in the Andamans. This was the last talk 
between Gandhiji and Savarkar. Though Savarkar was 
released afterwards in 1937, and made a whirlwind propa- 
ganda through the length and breadth of India as the leader 
of the Hindu Mahasabha, no occasion arose for a meeting 
between the two leaders. 

Dr. Ambedkar, who had been to Ratnagiri in connection 
with a law suit, had a talk with Savarkar. Savarkar had 



arranged for a public meeting, but on a telegraphic message 
from Bombay, Dr. Ambedkar left for Bombay. Young leaders 
of the spirit and heroic stamp of Sri Achyutrao Patwardhan 
showed deep regard for Savarkar. During the blooming days 
of the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930 he discussed some 
points with Savarkar. When the yoimg khadi-clad leader 
doubted the possibility of regaining Independence by an 
armed rising, Savarkar asked the charkha-general, “ Then 
friend, teU me how you are going to win back the indepen- 
dence by charkha ! ” 

Senpati Bapat’s visit to Ratnagiri was memorable. Though 
Bapat had been to Ratnagiri to preside over the Ratnagiri 
District Political Conference, he refused to attend any work 
regarding the Conference before he had paid his respects to 
Savarkar. And Bapat clung to Savarkar as devotionally as 
Bharat embraced Ramachandra in the exile. Bapat then 
opened the book of his life before his leader since the days 
of his voluntary exile and the transportation of his leader, 
Savarkar. It was in Ratnagiri that Sri N. C. Kelkar agreed 
with Savarkar and promised to introduce part of Savarkar’s 
reforms in the Devanagari script, and well did he fulfil his 
promise when he started his new Monthly, Sahyadri. 
Dr. Moonje, too, paid a visit to Ratnagiri. His regard for 
Savarkar approached reverence. Some years after he even 
told a Viceroy that to him Savarkar was next to Shivaji. 
Bhai Parmananda’s visit to Ratnagiri was more of a personal 
character than a public one. Savarkar’s right-hand man of 
London days, Sri V. V. S. Aiyer, met him in Ratnagiri after 
fifteen years. Sri Gyanchand Varma of London fame, Sri 
Sachindranath Sanyal, Sri Nani Gopal of Andaman fame, 
Sri G. V. Mavlankar, now Speaker of the Indian Parliament, 
Dr. Madhavrao Patwardhan, D.Lit., Dr. Ketkar, encyclopaedist 
of Maharashtra, too, paid their respects to Savarkar at 

The Chitpavan (Brahmin) Vidyarthi Sahayyak Sangh 
requested Savarkar to address their annual meeting. Savarkar 
told them that he could not join an institution, which stood 
purely for a particular caste. He added that he would accept 
their invitation provided they adopted a change in their 
constitution to the effect that in the absence of a worthy 


Chitpavan Brahmin student, any deserving Hindu student 
would be awarded the scholarship. They did so and Saveirkar 
agreed. Once at Malvan, a town in the southern part of the 
District, one ‘ Humanist ’ asked him whether he would like 
to be a member of his ‘ Human Religion ! ’ A broad-minded 
Hindu as he was, he replied in ihe affirmative, and asked if 
there was really such a force as ' Human Religion ’ under the 
sun when a State like Russia invested with a universal urge 
was extending its frontiers and desiring to bomb the workers 
of other coimtries. Savarkar always likes to be a realist 
rather than a man of clouds even at the risk of being branded 
as a communalist. 

Among the other leaders, who visited and interviewed 
Savarkar in Ratnagiri, the only man who impressed Savarkar 
most was Dr. Ketkar. That is why while paying an obituary 
tribute to Dr. Ketkar’s memory in the literary circle at 
Ratnagiri in 1937, Savarkar marvelled at the fathomless brains 
in the small skull of the Doctor ! A lion alone stops at a lion ! 

Mr. Yusuf Meher Ali then in the shell of Socialism saw 
Savarkar in Ratnagiri and to his bewilderment Savarkar took 
him to the inside of the Patit Pavan Mandir, the Pan-Hindu 
temple. It was no wonder that rationedist Savarkar should 
do so. 

The visit of the President of the All-India Gurkha League, 
Sri Thakur Chadan Singh, to Ratnagiri along with a represen- 
tative of the Royal Family of Nepal was most rousing and 
thrilling. It was the outcome of the contact established by the 
Ratnagiri Hindu Sabha with Nepal. It was significant that it was 
the Maharashtrian statesmanship that viewed the importance 
of Nepal on the political and physical map of India with great 
concern. It is well-knoAvn now that Tilak had deputed his 
heutenant Kakasahib Khadilkar to Nepal in 1903 to open an 
arms factory there. Khadilkar began his work under the 
guise of some mercantile pursuit, but his project was scented 
by the British Government, and Khadilkar was compelled to 
return to Poona without accomplishing his object. 

It was very strange that the Congress, which fought for 
Turkey’s Khilafat and sent a few bottles of medicine to Chiang 
Kai Shek in China and a few bushels of grain to Communist 
Spain, should deliberately neglect Nepal, a State so much 


interested in India’s destiny and geographically, religiously 
and culturally a part and parcel of India. Nay, the Congress- 
ites consider^ it nothing less than a foreign State. 

The importance and impact of the Gurkha leader’s visit to 
Ratnagiri did not escape the British Government’s vigilance. 
Savarkar was asked by the Home Department, Bombay, to 
submit his explanation and to communicate the speech he 
made at the time of the reception of the Gurkha leader. He 
did it and nothing came out of it. However, Savarkar was 
finally warned that his explanation was not satisfactory and 
that any further breach of the conditions imposed upon him 
would compel Government to make him undergo the remain- 
ing period of his transportation — ^about 37 years, if he referred 
to politics publicly or privately ! Government demanded 
similar explanations from Savarkar on many other occasions. 
Every speech of Savarkar was reported to the Home Depart- 
ment, Bombay, through the District Magistrate. On important 
occasions Savarkar dictated the summary of his important 
speeches to the District Magistrate as a precaution. The mere 
word ‘ Swaraj ’ or ‘ Raj ’ in his article or speech was highly 
resented by the British Government and many a time he was 
threatened with dire consequences. To return to the Gurkha 
leader’s visit. The Gurkha leader was tremendously impres- 
sed by Savarkar. Hearing and seeing Savarkar, the Gurkha 
leader said : “ I have now come to realise what Napoleon 
must have been ! ” 

And indeed Napoleon and Savarkar, the inveterate enemies 
of the British Empire, suffered the greatest humiliation and 
mental and physical torments at the hands of the British 
Power than any other adversary of the British Power which 
squandered crores on Napoleon and lakhs on Savarkar to 
crush their undying personalities to a slow tortiuous death. 
But undaunted, heroic and invincible as both these heroes 
were, they worked and struggled with wrath and righteous- 
ness for the downfall of the British Empire. In fact, Savarkar 
had the fortime to see the sun set on the British Empire and 
in the end his country free and independent ! 


Rationalist and Author 


Modern civilization is th» atcome of scientific research and 
progress. Science and Der io^racy are two great potential 
forces in the modern wo) d Democracy defines the shape 
and aims of social and political endeavour. It strives for a 
good, just, equitable and progressive life. Good and 
progressive life demands an equal and proportionately just 
enjoyment of all the material and cultural resources and 
possession. Those possessions and resources are brought 
within the reach of men by science which controls the laws 
and forces of Nature and bends (hem to the services of men. 
While bringing about this change, science emancipates the 
mind of man from the bondage of superstition and ignorance. 
Thus science plays a dominant part in the reconstruction of 
every country’s life and economy, and solves its crucial 
problems of food, clothing, shelter, security, and peace. 

Savarkar holds that the greater the domination of 
superstition the lesser is the tendency of the people towards 
science. So he raised his mighty pen against superstition from 
which flowed Voltaire’s satire and emanated the force of 
Luther ! Voltaire venerated nothing while Savarkar, like 
Swift, did his job with devastating candour. Voltaire smashed 
the ancient idols ; Savarkar swept them into a corner as 
historical and cultural monuments for record and research. 
Voltaire disfigured the idols, Savarkar debarred thern. 

Savarkar ’s outlook is absolutely modern and scientific. He 
shows the fallacy and hollowness of time-worn and scripture- 
born arguments. He denounces the ideologies that describe 
the machine as a device of the devil invented to spite the glory 
of God and to strike a blow at the influence of religion and 
make man feeble, mechanical, helpless and heartless, leading 
him to his final doom. Savarkar pierces the Kripan of his 
reason through this false propaganda of ignorance. So he is 


to Maharashtra what eighteenth century great European 
reformers were to Europe. 

About the God of Man and the Lord of the Universe, he 
has peculiar views. According to him we live in this world, 
but the Universe has nothing to do with us. The belief that 
what the Lord of the Universe likes is good and what lie 
likes must be beneficial to the progress of Man, is useless, 
because it is not true. The forces in the Universe are to a 
little degree for Man. but to a greater extent they are against 
him. What man can do at the most is to learn the laws of 
the Universe as best as he can, and turn them to his benefit 
and welfare. This is, he sums up, the real worship of the 

In his view whatever contributes to human good is good, 
what is derogatory to the progress of humanity is bad. The 
definition of morality should be framed, he says, in reference 
to the common good of mankind. If God is kind enough to 
take a man out of danger, and is all pervading, who first 
throws a virtuous man into the flames of danger, he asks. 
Who sinks steamers full of men, children and women despite 
heartfelt prayers ? Who sets conflagration to the woods and 
roasts the birds, reptiles and other creatures like fishes ? 
Savarkar says why does God make the wicked so powerful 
as to be in a position to harass the good ? If God is omniscient 
and most kind, does he not know the innocence and purity 
of that good man beforehand ? Why does he at all test the 
virtuous man through cruel and fierce ordeals ? In this 
respect Savarkar is more agnostic than Ingersoll, and more 
balanced than Agarkar, the giant rationalist of Maharashtra. 

Savarkar feels sorry that Superstition should hold its sway 
in our land even during the twentieth century. He observes : 
“ We have allowed the Britishers to crush everything that was 
with us, but not that precious possession of ours ‘ Our 
credulous superstition ’ ! ” “ Let an earthquake occur, public 
prayer is our remedy. Let a patriot suffer from sickness, we 
go to attend a crowded prayer-meeting. Let a pestilence 
ravage our land, and we kill goats in sacrifice to ward off the 
calamity. It was quite all right when we did not know the 
causes of such things, but to stick to these superstitions even 


when science has revealed the causes of such calamities is 
simply absurd,” wrote Savarkar some years ago. 

Savarkar asks the Hindus to follow the cause and effect 
theory tiiat is never disturbed by the thought of Divine 
pleasure or displeasure. He points out to the people that 
water boils at a certain temperature and God never interferes 
in this process ! Oxygen and Hydrogen combined in proper 
proportions, are bound to yield water any day of the year 
whether God wills it or not ! He proceeds : “ With the aid 
of science, even Godless Fnssia is actually floating castles in 
the air in the form of aeroplanes and giant super-fortresses.” 
“ What actually matters is scientific accuracy and not 
Astrological superstition. Astrology cannot save what .science 
has doomed and where safety is assured by science, Astrology 
cannot endanger it,” he observes, in his brilliant article 
entitled, ‘ Machine is a boon to Mankind.’ 

Savarkar tells the people that it is time for them to realize 
that ‘ Sacrifice ’ cannot bring rains, nor can it avert a famine. 
He appeals to the Hindus to discard the superstitious and 
religious aspect clinging to their usages regarding maternity 
and asks them to send their women to well-equipped, well- 
lighted, modern maternity homes instead of galling them in 
dark, dingy and smoky rooms. He suggests that the corpses 
should be carried in a car in a decent manner and burnt with 

Such a lover of science was bound to condemn the anti- 
machine attitude of Gandhism with its charkha fads. To 
Savarkar a telescope is a human eye with its capacity of vision 
increased a thousand times ; a telephone is but a human ear 
with an enormous increase in its power. 

“ Machine has made man stay beneath water, rise high up 
in the sky. Machine has made man far-reaching, far-seeing, 
far-speaking and far-hearing. Machine has conferred upon man 
blessings which no prophets could give or no penance could 
secure. Mcuikind owes its present civilization entirely to the 
use of machine, and thus machine far from being a curse, is 
a wonderful boon which has bestowed supernatural powers 
upon this hiunan race ! ” observes Savarkar. He appeals to 
the nation that it is the duty of every thinking man to press 


the cause of science in every department of life. Without 
it, no nation can hope to survive the present stage, he adds. 

To Savarkar science by itself is not responsible for the evils 
of Capitalism or the destructive orgy of modern war technique. 
It is the fault of the ways of distribution, lust for domination, 
and greed for exploitation. Electricity can light a bulb or 
detonate a bomb for the destruction of a city. Savarkar says 
that the evil should be checked. In short, not warfare but 
welfare of humanity should be the ultimate goal of science. 

Savarkar stands for science and absolute science. He stands 
for TODAY and not for the blind traditions of yesterday. He 
appeals to the Hindus to test all their ancient holy works on 
the touchstone of science. He writes ; “ We do not regard 
the ancient works as all-pervading, omniscient and perfect by 
themselves. The Smritis and the Vedas we love reverentially, 
not as omniscient and unchangeable works, but as historical 
books and as the landmarks in the great and glorious journey 
of the human race.” He asks the Hindus, therefore, to test 
the knowledge in the ancient holy works, their laws and 
learnings on the touchstone of science and to follow fearlessly 
what contributes to the good of the nation. 

To Savarkar no animal is Divine. Even the cow is meant 
for man ; not man for the cow. Not cow-worship but cow- 
protection is our national asset. He denounces the viewpoint 
of the Hindu leaders of the past, who, for saving the lives of 
a handful of cows, lost their kingdoms, their human rights, 
and their all. He, therefore, observes that if it is inevitable 
in a grave crisis to live upon beef and save human lives in 
India, the Hindus should also do it. The prosperity of a 
nation does not depend upon its capacity for penance and 
yoga, love of justice, or sense of virtue. History is replete 
with innumerable instances, he writes, which show that the 
wicked, cruel, unjust, and inhuman kings, conquerors, 
democracies and republics have smothered the weak kings 
and powerless democracies, though the victims were just, 
human and non-aggressive. Discipline, dry gunpowder, the 
range of guns, the edge of swords and an unflinrbing will are 
the factors that protect the rights and liberties of a nation. 
Justice and injustice have no relation to victory or defeat. 
Victory and defeat are quite different from justice and 


injustice. If victory and defeat have at all any relation with any 
other thing, it is ^'alour, observes Savarkar. But this worship 
of strength, power and discipline, Savarkar say.s, should not 
be used for aggressive and greedy aims. He slates that 
justice, if weak, is futile and lame. It goes under. Injustice, 
if powerful, tramples upon it. 

These rational views of Savarkar have impressed many 
pei'sons and leaders of socialist and communist leanings. They 
acknowledge this Savarkar to be the rationalist leader of 
Maharashtra. In fact, in the domain of realism, rationalism and 
revolutionism Savarkar has surpassed Ranade, Tilak, Agarkar 
and Dr. Ketkar, the giant thinkers of Maharashtra. Sri S. K. 
Kshirsagar, an eminent and fairly unbiased literary critic in 
Maharashtra, observes that Maharashtra produced two great 
leaders of ‘ Thought.’ They were Savarkar, and Dr. Ketkar, 
the compiler of Marathi Dnyanakosh. “ Savarkar’s matchless 
heroism,” he writes, “ and ideal patriotism had won a name 
and fame even before the transportation of Tilak to Mandalay. 
But Savarkar’s all-pervading political philosophy became 
known after Tilak’s death. Though Tilak was revolutionary 
in action, his thoughts on history, social philosophy, and poli- 
tics were not as deep-rooted, fundamentally revolutionary and 
volcanic as those of Savarkar.” ’ When a leader is accepted, 
Kshirsagar goes on, people have to change their entire line 
of thought, and Maharashtra learnt this for the first time in 
history from the leadership of Savarkar. Telling that Savar- 
kar was the first and foremost ‘ leader of thought ’ of Modern 
Maharashtra who gained a wide following, Kshirsagar further 
remarks that had Savarkar’s followers been truer to his 
philosophy than to its mere glorification, a far greater cult 
than that of the Sikhs or the Arya Samaj would have sprung 
up cdl over India in the form of Savarkarism. The critic’s 
assessment is rather a little pessimistic and less detached. 
Pioneers of a great cause, precursors of a revolution and 
prophets of a new order have never prospered in their own 
age ! 

^ K. B. Kshirsagar, Suvarnatula, p. 129. 




As a man of letters Savarkar has no equal in Maharashtra. 
There never was a greater genius born since the days of the 
author of Dnyaneshwari in the land of the Mahrattas. Like 
a cloud, Savarkar is myriad-sided. He is a volcanic writer, 
a heroic author, a renaissance scholar, a historian in action, a 
dramatist, a novelist and an epic poet whose genius earns 
him a place among the first few greatest geniuses of our 
Motherland. His creative genius is versatile and has the force 
and flow of the Ganges and the effluence of a volcano. There 
is grandeur of the Gaurishank2u-, the sweep of an eagle, pro- 
fundity of the ocean and the flash of lightning in all his 
writings. The pen and tongue of no other Indian author and 
orator have been so entirely devoted to the nation’s cause as 
those of Savarkar. His literature fills the reader with hope 
and courage. It inspires the patriot, stimulates the thinker 
and drives the soldier to fight for justice, liberty and welfare 
of humanity. What is more, his is the only pen that has 
suckled a line of martyrs, an unparalleled phenomenon in 
Indian literature ! To Savarkar nothing is better, higher and 
holier than this noble human work of uplifting his fellowmen 
in this holy Hindusthan. 

Sri G. T. Madkholkar, an ex-President of the Marathi 
Literary Conference, well-known critic and at present editor 
of the Tarun Bharat, Nagpur, in one of his memorable articles 
remarks that during the last seventy-five years, Maharashtra 
produced eight writers worth the name who possessed great 
imaginative power, viz. Chiplunkar, Paranjpe, Shripad 
Krishna, Achyutrao Kolhatkar, Kelkar, Gadkari, Atre and 
Khandekar. Of these, he says, Chiplunkar and Paranjpe are 
the only two writers whose imagination is of the classic type. 
Savarkar, he says, belongs to this classic type. The critic goes 
on ; “ The imagination of Savarkar is not as playful and 
charming as the butterfly ; it has the sublime sweep of an 
eagle. It has not the playfulness of a spring ; it has the depth 
of the sea. It has not the delicacy of a creeping flowering- 
plant ; it has the blazing power of lightning.” One more 
quality and by no means a less important quaUty of Savarkar’s 
imagination has escaped the notice of this eminent critic. It 


is that Savarkar’s imagination is not devoid of realism. 
Savarkar’s imaginative power is not aimless and unbridled. 
It soars to the height of the Everest, but is not lost in the 
clouds ! It has wings powerful enough to come down to the 
earth. In this Savarkar outshines his two rivals, Chiplunkar 
and Paranjpe. 

In the domain of propaganda by literature no Indian writer 
excels Savarkar. Pointing 'it that the literary productions 
of Savaikar are dominatea . >• vigour, sublimity and idealism, 
Sii Madkholkar writes ; . a -arkar’s idealism in both these 

respect.s — complete indepeudr ice of India and the resurrec- 
tion of the Hindus — is to be called uncommon for the simple 
reason that none else has so fearlessly advocated the cause of 
independence and nobody has so comprehensively preached 
for the resurrection of the Hindu race. It seems that his 
fighting temperament is not prepared to take note of the limi- 
tations, possibilities, or proprieties. The result is that w’hat- 
ever ideal he advocates assumes so intensely propagandistic 
and challenging a form that his writings are surcharged with 
the spirit of a battle-cry.” In this, Sri N. C. Kelkar agrees 
with Sri Madkholkar. Describing Savarkar as a man of art, 
Kelkar says : “ Delicacy, so inherent in art, is not apparent 
in Savarkar. Like the American author, Upton Sinclair, or 
Norris, Savarkar possesses all the force of a propagandist and 
is a straight hitter. He could hardly be excelled as a propa- 
gandist by anyone else in Maharashtra ! Whatever subject 
he chooses, may it be the purification of the Marathi language, 
or the purification of the converts, the reform of the script, 
or the reformation of the society, he will come out like one 
pouncing for a battle-field with sword in hand.” Kelkar 
proceeds : “ A Spartan general advised his soldier, ‘ if your 
sword is shorter than that of your rival, always march a step 
in advance.’ But Savarkar’s sword is longer in the first 
instance and he himself stands a step in advance of others.” 
Kelkar concludes : “ All the writings of Savarkar are like 
leaps through arches fixed with knives and blazing torches 
turned inside.” 

Presiding over a literary function in Bombay in 1943, a 
renowned novelist of Maharashtra remarked that Savarkar’s 
pen had the force of the combined pens of the trio : Agarkar, 


Chiplunkar and Tilak. And indeed it is so ! Chiplunkar. 
Agarkar and Tilak, all were spirited writers. All were virile. 
They all had a ready pen. But while Agarkar wrote with his 
dry intellect like a giant. Chiplunkar wrote like a proud 
Pope, and Tilak wrote like a leader-general. Savarkar, how- 
ever, wrote like a learned rationalist and a warrior-prophet ! 
Savarkar is master both of thought and word. His writings 
ripple with human emotions and masculine force. He over- 
whelms you with a well-drilled army of arguments. He 
thrusts the kripan of reason through the shield of falsehood, 
treachery, superstition and hypocrisy. But the most un- 
rivalled characteristic of Savarkar’s excellence is that he 
carries his great learning easily and writes with genius and 
judgment. His perspicuity is peculiar ; his insight rare ! No 
other pen has caused such a social upheaval with the violence 
of spring-tides as did the volcanic pen of this man. He has 
lashed his social opponents with a hard rod of rationalism 
and crushed their opposition. His rationabstic articles on 
‘ The Machine,’ ‘ God or Gunpowder,’ ‘ God of Man and Lord 
of the Universe,’ ‘Woman’s place in Manusmriti,' ‘Woman’s 
Beauty and Duty ’ and his biting pungent articles on ‘ the 
Cow ’ will easily rank him amongst the social 
reformers of the world. 

During his internment at Ratnagiri besides the several 
articles mentioned above, he wrote his famous book ‘ Hindu 
Pad-Padashahi ’ which is a history of the Rise and Fall of the 
Mahratta Empire. Read in conjunction with Ranade’s Rise 
of the Maratha Power, this book gives you the full nationa- 
listic and broad view of the great national movement of the 
Mahratta Hindus. It was a righteous war for the liberation 
of the Hindus against the theocratic patriotism, fanatic fury, 
volcanic greed and foreign domination of the Muslims. In this 
book Savarkar depicts in his authoritative tone the glorious 
spectacle of the rising Mahrattas, their insatiable central 
desire, and their inordinate love for re-establishing for the 
Hindus Swadharma and Swaraj, the God-given rights of Man. 
The book reveals Savarkar’s master-intellect, true insight, 
stately diction, great thought, and honest pride. 

Here is an interesting parallel ! Both Savarkar and Pandit 
Jawaharlal Nehru wrote history. Both are great personalities. 


Nehru wrote for fame and glory. Savarkar wrote for the 
nation. Both wrote thar histories with vigour, vivacity and 
told their sl'iries nobly and splendidly. While Nehru is a man 
of immense reading Savarkar is a man of profound knowledge. 
Savarkar wrote with astounding originality and much philo- 
sophy while Nehru wrote with little originality and no philo- 
sophy. Nehru lavishes praise on his heroes and lashes at 
others. Savarkar inspires the nation and hammers out false 
gods. But Nehru and Savarkar, the historians, differ on the 
vital issues of the Indian History. In his Glimpses of World 
History Nehru gets a perv erted vision of Shivaji’s action in 
kiUing Afzulkhan. Neliru’.s angle of vision could misrepresent 
the most vital crisis in the life of the greatest Indian of his 
age. That angle of vision expressed surprise in his Discovery 
of hidia that Jayachand is looked upon almost as a traitor, that 
Hinduism was a national religion, and that Pratap regarded 
Akbar, the hero of Pandit Nehru, as an alien. To Savarkar, 
the historian, Jayachand is synonjrmous with a traitor, Akbar 
a symbol of foreign domination and Pratap a nation-builder. 
Have you heard Savarkar, the historian, on Chitor, Panipat, 
and 1857 ? Have you come across any History of England 
that does not contain the words Trafalgar and Waterloo ? 
Have you come across any History of India without the men- 
tion of Chitor ? Behold, it is Nehru’s Discovery of India. 

Another great book Savarkar wrote during his internment 
is My Transportation for Life. It is the most convincing and 
inspiring work which depicts his jail life in the Andamans. 
If five books that will last as long as the Marathi language 
lasts, are selected, this stately and inspiring book will be one 
of them along with Dnyanadeva’s Dnyaneshwari, Tukaram’s 
Gatha, Tilak’s Gita Rahasya and Apte’s novel But who pays 
Heed ? Leading critics in Mahai'ashtra are of opinion that 
this book of Savarkar would occupy a prominent place among 
the great classics of the world. Again a great parallel. Pandit 
Nehru wrote a great autobiography. In his mundane way, 
Nehru’s autobiography is vigorous and glorious, but greatly 
pompous and partly spiteful. 

Savarkar’s My Transportation for Life, a part of his incom- 
plete autobiography, is splendid, inspiring, ingenuous and 
stately. Nehru is bristling with views and vanity, while 


Savarkar is bleeding with a serene thought and majestic heart. 
If the full epic autobiography of Savarkar and the great roman- 
tic life story of M. N. Roy had appeared in the field by now, 
India would have shone in the domain of world auto- 
biographies with two immortal autobiographies. This 
Savarkar ’s book was translated into Gujarati and somehow 
was proscribed by the alien Government egged on by native 
machinations. And though on the advent of the Congress 
Ministry the inspiring book escaped the literary genius of 
Sri K. M. Munshi, the then Home Minister of Bombay, it wa.s 
released by Sri Morarji Desai in a straightforward, patriotic 
and fearless manner when he became the Home Minister of 

As a dramatist, Savarkar did not care so much for a plot 
or stage effect. Here the playwright lives the life of his 
‘ self speaking and acting through his characters. His 
characters move with emotion and reason. Humour is some- 
times uncommon to genius, and Savarkar is no exception to 
it. Still all the three plays of Savarkar written during his 
internment are wonderfully effective. The Usshap paves the 
way and struggles for the well-being and welfare of the 
Depressed Classes and strives to bury untouchability. 
Written on the background of Lord Buddha’s life, Sanyasta 
Khadga — the Forsaken Sword — is a devastating commentary 
on the doctrine of absolute non-violence, and preaches that 
relative non-violence is a virtue. This play removes the web of 
absolute non-violence, and ends in showing that not the saint, 
but the sword protects the hearths and homes of a nation 
against the aggre.ssive forces in the world. Some of the 
characters from this drama non-violently enough do not ‘ cut ’ 
jokes, because the word ‘ cut ’ implies violence ! Dr. N. B. 
Khare as a staunch Congressman saw this play staged in 
Nagpur in the early thirties. As the play advanced and the 
guns of philosophy of the struggle for existence began to 
boom, Dr. Khare grew animated and to the amazement of 
the audience sprang upon the stage with dramatic suddenness 
and shouted ; “ Friends, countrymen, our country at present 
needs some one to preach this philosophy.” This drama ends 
in a tragedy. Clear was the object ! A slave country must 
accustom itself to the spirit of tragedy. Uttarakriya, the 


third play of Savarkar, deals with the post-Panipat period of 
the Mahratta history. 

Savarkar wrote two novels, the Moplah Rebellion and the 
Transportation. The first is short, succinct and sweet with a 
subtle charm and satire. Originally published in Babarao 
Savarkar’s name — ^for Savarkar was then passing his days in 
internment — , the novel was acclaimed to be the best from the 
viewpoint of the ideal theme for a novel, by a front rank 
Marathi columnist, although he expressed his belief that the 
novel was written by Babarao Savarkar, which was not a 
fact. As the colummist w as a critic of Savarkar and often 
ungenerous, his opinion about the novel should be doubly 
acceptable. The second novel has a thrilling background of 
the magic of the Andamans, and according to some film 
journals, it would be a great and thrilling screen version, if 


As for the role of women in life, Savarkar has definite views 
to offer. He believes that there is a fundamental and natural 
difference between man and woman. Their duties are 
different. So their education, too, must necessarily differ. 
Reformer as he is, he does not like women to obey the dictates 
of old useless customs. 

Savarkar regards female education indispensable to the 
uplift of a nation ; but by female education he does not 
necessarily mean university degrees, although he has no 
objection to their obtaining the degrees without disregarding 
their primary duty to the home, children, and the nation. He 
holds that a system of education must be drawn up on new 
lines, and women should be given some sort of specialized 
training congenial to the temperament of women. A woman 
should be a ministering angel rather than a masculine Amazon 
or a Virago. She should imbibe the quality of her proverbial 
modesty and grace rather than mere eloquence or proficiency 
in mathematics. Women are the solace and comfort of heartlis 
and homes. The larger the number of good healthy mothers, 
he observes, the stronger and healthier will be the nation. 
Therefore, a woman’s education should enable her to enrich 


the nation with a generation stronger, more beautiful, and 
more patriotic than the past. The Russian woman is on an 
equal footing with man. Yet, does it mean, he asks, that 
Stalin delivers a child instead of his wife ? 

To Savarkar life is an oblation. According to him a woman 
should look beautiful with her natural charms and try to keep 
it with good aids to beauty. In addition, he has something 
to say to a beauty about her duty ! Beauty is handed over 
to her, he warns, as a strict sacred trust. And that trust is 
eugenics. A beautiful woman who fails to fulfil this conditi(;n 
becomes morally guilty of a breach of trust. A nation that 
strives to have daughters more beautiful than their mothers 
and sons stronger than their fathers necessarily adds to artistic 
culture handed down to it through heritage ! Is this not the 
angle and approach of a realist, a rationalist, and a reformer ? 
Years after Savarkar wrote this, we find today England, 
France and other European countries propagating these very 
doctrines to arrest the decrease in population in their countries 
and to avoid the consequential downfall and decay of the 
virility of their nations. 


Back to Freedom 

In spite of his heroic work in the direction of social and 
mental revolution thi^oughout the period of internment at 
Ratnagiri, Savarkar was trying his utmost to break his 
shackles. Gnveriimeni wt c trying their way to prolong the 
period of his internment oi some plea or other. It is said that 
climate influences characteis Inhabitants as they were of a 
region where fire is a luxury, the Britishers took great care 
of fire wherever it burnt in their Indian Empire. They 
watched the fire-places in India with special care. Whenever 
any fire broke out in any part of India, Savarkar 's 
residence was shadowed. Surprise * raids were a common 
feature for Savarkar’s residence. Once the Superintendent 
of Police surrounded Savarkar’s residence at dawn, and 
showed Savarkar the order under which he was directed to 
search Savarkar’s residence for copies of the proscribed book, 
The Indian War of Independence of 1857. Savarkar came out 
of the house with his family and said to the officer with a 
smile : “ Yes, we have come out. You can go in and search the 
house. But remember that I have struggled with Scotland 
Yard for four years and outwitted them.” Yet the police had 
not come to Savarkar’s residence without reason. Sardar 
Bhagat Singh had printed two thousand copies of that famous 
book of Savarkar to raise funds for his revolutionary society 
and had respectfully sent the first two copies of the book to 

On another occasion Savarkar was almost perplexed. The 
C.I.D. and police officers surprised him. But gifted with a 
marvellous presence of mind, he waited till the search was 
over and at last when the time for the report came, he handed 
over to the officer the very writing pad which contained an 
article ready for the press. The police officer used it without 
peeping inside while Savarkar held a crumbled piece of paper 
containing a poem on Sardar Bhagat Singh. 



To supplement his heroic efforts and express his views 
unobserved on current politics, Savarkar then patronised a 
weekly named Shraddhananda edited by his brother, Dr, N, 
D. Savarkar, in Bombay. It published several inspiring 
articles by Savarkar. Though the articles did not appear in 
the name of Savarkar, Maharashtra could feel the inspiring 
touch and tone ; and in a short time this weekly attained 
enormous popularity and had a wide circulation. Gandhiji 
had just then begun to come out of his virtual retirement. 
The Madras Session of the Indian National Congress passed 
a resolution demanding absolute political independence. 
Gandhiji dubbed it childish. Savarkar showed his great 
jubilation thi-ough the weekly, and bitterly criticised the 
attitude of Gandhiji towards that resolution. 

Condolence meetings in memory of Swami Shraddhananda, 
who was cruelly inurdered by a fanatic Muslim, in memory 
of Deshbandhu Das and Lala Lajpat Rai, were addressed by 
Savarkar before sighing multitudes at Ratnagiri. 

At this juncture there was a move to elect Savarkar as 
President of the Hindu Mahasabha at its Jubbulpore Session 
in 1927, but it was not successful. Referring to this proposal, 
Sri N. C. Kelkar who presided over the Session, began his 
Presidential Address with these words : The Reception 

Committee, I learn, had adverted to the possibility of getting 
Mr. Vinayakrao Savarkeir to preside over this Conference, 
and I share their regret and disappointment in the failure of 
their object.” ^ During these days a prominent Congressman 
of Maharashtra suggested Savarkar's name for the president- 
ship of the Indian National Congress and wrote that in the 
event of Savarkar’s absence, his Address should be read out 
by installing a portrait of Savarkar in the presidential chair. 
Not only this, it was even suggested that Savarkar should 
represent the Congress at the Round Table Conference.^ 

The Ratnagiri Hindu Sabha was the first organized Hindu 
Body which came forward to back up Dr. Moonje in his 
acceptance of the invitation to the Round Table Conference 
and in January 1931 passed a resolution “ expressing apprecia- 
tion of the ability and courage with which Moonje and Jayakai* 

* N. C. Kelkar, Speeches and Writings, p. 301, 

2 Quoted in the Pratihha, dated 15-1-1936. 


had defended the Hindu cause, which it was declared, was 
identical with the cause of India as a whole against the 
anti-national encroachments of the Moslems.” The resolution 
further threw a challenge to the Moslems to accept an 
arbitration by the League of Nations. It added that the 
rejection of the arbitration offer by the Muslims exposed the 
unjust nature of their claims. 

In 1934 Savarkar was arrested again and detained for two 
weeks in connection v/ith -bots fired at some military officer 
in Bombay by Sri Wau.anrao Chavan, a Sanghatanist 
firebrand from Ratnagir . Jovcrmnent, however, could 
establish nothing and Savarkar was released on the 15th day. 

Government went on extending the period of Savarkar’s 
internment from time to time — 1929 to 1937 — as they 
considered him a danger to the peace of India. In the last 
week of October 1930, the Bombay Government instructed 
Mr. D. Simington, District Magistrate of Ratnagiri, to give 
his opinion as to whether, having regard to Savarkar’s 
antecedents and to the then political situation, he considered 
that the restrictions imposed on Savarkar should be either 
wholly or partly withdrawn without danger. 

The District Magistrate, Mr. D. Simington, is reported to 
have opined that in the then state of politics Savarkar should 
not be released. He ako reported to Government that 
Savarkar had devoted himself to the removal of untouchabilitj' 
and had achieved a certain measure of success, and added 
that he had successfully admitted the untouchables to the 
new Patit Pavan Temple. It was a bad recommendation, but 
a gentleman’s appreciation of Savarkar’s social work. Are 
there any impartial souk now in power who are frank enough 
to admit what the Englkhman wrote secretly ? In 1934 
Mr. R. M. Maxwell, Secretary to the Government of Bombay, 
declined Savarkar’s request for permission to go to Bombay 
to attend the Bombay City and Suburbs Hindu Sabha 
Conference which was held in Bombay on the 23rd and 24th 
of January 1934. But whenever he was allowed to go out 
of Ratnagiri City or Dktrict, secret wires clicked in code 
words from Ratnagiri to all important police headquarters of 
Bombay, Poona, and other cities. And every Dktrict 
Magistrate in the province tried his utmost to avoid Savarkar’s 


presence in his District by complaining to the Home 
Department that his presence in the District would 
tremendously increase the work of the police and other 
departments. * * 

Years rolled on and at long last the day of release arrived. 
After fighting the Provincial elections under the new Act of 
1935 and almost unchallenged by any major political opposition 
for the Hindu seats, the Congressmen were hatching the eggs 
of ministership under the wings of Gandhiji ! Govei’nment 
were eager to have interim ministries in the provinces with a 
view to pressing the Congress to accept office. In the interim 
period of the deadlock Khan Bahadur Dhanjishaw Cooper, 
with the support of Sri Jamnadas M. Mehta, a representative 
of the Tilakite Democratic Swaraj Party, e.vpressed his 
willingness to form an interim Ministry in the Province on 
one condition. Mehta had been a champion of the campaign 
for Savarkar’s release for a number of years in the past. He 
made Savarkar's release a condition precedent to accepting 
the office. H.E. Lord Brabourne, the then Governor of 
Bombay, showed his willingness to release Savarkar subject 
to good behaviour. Mehta’s repartee at once resolved the 
bracket of the condition ! Mehta said that the Governor 
himself and even the speaker himself were free citizens subject 
to good behaviour, in fact any citizen in any country was so. 
Then the Governor’s telephone murmured between London 
and Bombay, between Bombay and Simla and to the great 
relief of Hindusthan, Savarkar was at very long last released 
unconditionally on the 10th of May 1937, the 10th of May, the 
red letter day in the Indian history on which the first War 
of Independence started. 

To have released one of the greatest political prisoners of 
the world, to have set free the greatest revolutionary leader of 
India and the noblest son of Mother India was no common 
achieventent for Sri Jamnadas. 

Several functions were held in Ratnagiri in honour of 
Savarkar’s release. At one of these functions Sri M. D. Joshi, 
a prominent Congressman expressed his view that Savarkar 
was also one of the doctors of the nation and would prescribe 
for the ills of the nation. Whatever party Savarkar might 
join, he would add to the freedom movement and welfare of 


the country, added the speaker. A purse was presented to 
Savarkar by the citizens of Ratnagiri. In hi.'- parting speech 
Savarkar was moved with the memory of the social movements 
in Ratnagiri. He said he was very sorry that due to his 
mission there were divisions, heart-breakings and scuffles 
among families and friends. Savarkar continued that he had 
done it all in the best interest of the Country, God and Man. 

As for the future, Savarkar said that the goal of 
independence w^as to be attained by resistance, alliance and 
pressure; that the ba.sic <';il]ine of that independence should 
be a ‘ one man one vote ’ d -*mocracy and that he would strive 
for and achieve that goal not by sacrificing the just rights of 
the Hindus. Whatever happened, he said, he would never 
desert the cause of the Hindus. He would die as a Hindu 
rather than prosper as an anti-Hindu soul, concluded Savarkar. 
After his release Savarkar unfurled the tri-colour flag 
reminiscent of the Abhinava Bharat emblem at the Ratnagiri 
District Political Conference held under the presidentship of 
Mr. K. F. Nariman. Political life and fight to begin after a 
lapse and lull of full twenty-seven years ! 

But the India of those days was dominated by Gandhiji who 
had literally thrown away into the waste paper ba.sket the 
appeal for Savarkar’s release. When approached for his support 
and signature to the appeal, Gandhiji said he did not know 
who that Savarkar was, and asked whether he was the same 
Savarkar who wrote The Indian War of Indepi 7idence of 1857, 
and subsequently explained to the public that he thought it 
derogatory to approach the British Government for the release 
of Savarkar. Nehru went one step further. He was reported 
to have torn non- violently the ‘ Release Savarkar ’ 
memorandum to pieces. And all this happened before 
Savarkar had joined the Hindu Mahasabha as a political party 
in opposition to the Congress. Coming events cast their 
shadows before ! Let history record this fact which is 
stranger than fiction ! 


Whirlwind Propaganda 


Savarkar’s dramatic release was a pleasant surprise to 
Hindudom. Leaders like Sri Kelkar, Bhai Parmananda, 
Dr. Moonje and Sri Aney were happy over the exhilarating 
event that brought to them the release of a national force. The 
reaction of the Congress High Command to his release was 
notable. Pandit Nehru welcomed Savaikar back to freedom. 
Rajaji felt great joy at the release of a national hero, who was 
to him a symbol of courage, bravery and patriotism. Desha- 
gaurav Subhas Bose welcomed him, and urged him to join 
the Congress and strengthen the national movement. He 
added that bright future awaited Savarkar. Sri M. N. Roy 
welcomed the hero and hoped that Savarkar would devote 
his life again to the emancipation of India on his own line of 
thinking.^ Gandhiji had nothing to say about it. He was 
proverbially silent. 

The appearance of Savarkar on the political horizon natu- 
rally aroused the envy of the petty patriots to w'hom 
Gandhism was a faith and profession. Naturally the non- 
violent non-embarrassing politics .suffered a volcanic wave. 
The shrewd leaders in the Congress camp, who knew Savar- 
kar s mettle, were sure that their steel was not strong enough 
to break his spirit. They, therefore, sophistically hoped that 
Savarkar would join the Congress or rest on his laurels. 
Some nervously whispered that the steam-roller was out. 
They knew well that he wore both a cross and a crown. The 
crown had been smelted, shaped, tried and glorified in the 
process of untold sufferings and incomparable sacrifice. But 
what all of them feared most was his conquering personality, 
matchless oratory, and, above all, his militant political 

’ Me.ssa{;e.s of Nehru,, Foy and Rajaji to the Lokamanya, 
Bombay, dated 27-6-1937. 


Maker of history, father of a political ideology, leader of a 
world-famous revolutionary party, Savarkar was not a man 
to follow success by changing his principles and betraying 
the souls of his re^^o]utionary comrades. Lonely he set out 
on his mission. He bade farewell to Ratnagiri to see how the 
land lay, where the fuel existed, where the spark of righteous 
resistance smouldered in Maharashtra. He reverentially 
bowed to the Gadi of Shivaji at Kolhapur, and proclaimed liis 
entrance into the political arena. At Pandharpur, the 
southern Ber.ares, he pal., jis respects to the g^reat saints of 
Maharashtra. It was at ra j that he first fluttered hi.s claw 
and attacked the imbecile aiiitude of the Congressmen in the 
Central Assembly where they had sometime before shame- 
lessly argued that the kidnapping of Hindu girls in the North- 
West Frontier Province was but a problem of physical wants ! 
This stroke was a direct challenge, a portent, a straight hit, 
and a penetrating arrow aimed at the power and prestige of 
the Congress. Congressmen surreptitiou.sly twisted the state- 
ment, tried to make an issue out of it, invented a pretext, and 
boycotted the reception functions held in Savarkar ’s honour ! 

Savarkeir reached Poona, the political, historical, and cul- 
tural capital of Maharashtra. The whole city was stirred. 
There was a new hope, a new life. With Sav’^arkar came up 
the liisioric flag. The resurrected flag was hoisted for the 
first time in recent years ! The spell of the name Savarkar 
was cis mighty as it was mesmeric. Political workers, who 
were humbled down and routed by the Congress, began to 
look up straight. In Bombay Savarkar was given a waian 
reception at a meeting which was addressed by Mr. K. F. 
Nariman, Sri M. N. Roy and Sri S. K. Patil, all paying glowing 
tributes to Savarkar’s .sufferings and sacrifice. M. N. Roy 
touchingly referred to Savarkar as the tree of which he was 
a branch among others, and with glowing eyes added that the 
inspiration he had drawn from Savarkar during his student 
days could stand him in good stead, and enabled him to face 
forces of injustice, exploitation and slavery in all parts of the 
world ! 

Savarkar took his permanent abode in Bombay. But time 
and again he visited Poona and other parts of Maharashtra 
during the latter part of 1937. Those who knew his political 


ideology were not surprised to hear that Savarkar joined the 
Tilakite Democratic Swaraj Party and shortly aftc^rwards the 
Hindu Mahasabha. He did not join the Congress that had 
departed from its democratic and national stand, and begun 
to surrender to the anti-national demands of the Muslims. 
Organizing a separate political party, however, was an uphill 
task. Gandhiji was fortunate in having at liis disposal the 
Congress, which was already shaped into an active political 
organisation by Tilak, Lajpat Rai, and Das. Here Savarkar 
began almost with a clean slate. 

But why this new path ? Savarkar declared that the right 
of revolt belonged to anybody provided he was prepared to 
face the consequential ordeal. When Jesus Christ died, he had 
a few followers ; Mohammed had to flee sometimes for want 
of support ; and Columbus discovered America despite oppo- 
sition and ridicule offered by his crew and comrades. There 
was no harm, Savarkar said, if the country had many parties. 
Savarkar further said that the Moderates also were great 
patriots ; but Tilak opposed them and brought about unrest 
that led to a political awakening. The revolutionaries left 
Tilak behind, Savarkar continued, and showed the world to 
what degree the barometer of active resistance and national 
wrath could be rfiised by struggling India ! The object of 
our worship is the Goddess of Freedom. The temple is one. 
Let the ways and means differ. The worshippers should not 
quarrel among themselves over the correctness of the means.” 
Differences always exist and their clashes make for light ! 
He then reminded the people that Tilak became Lokamanya 
after his death. Tilak did not agree entirely wnth him ; but 
Tilak did not commit the sin of coming in his way, Savarkar 
declared. He pointed out that Tilak, Gokhale, and Surendra- 
nath Banerjee never considered politicians of independent 
tliinking their enemies, because those politicians did not 
subscribe to their own political views. He expressed also the 
fear that the Congress would one day throttle the Bande 
Mataram, and the national song would meet the fate the 
poetry of Bhushan sulfered, in the University curriculum. 
And within a few years the Congress did throttle Bande 
Mataram on the altar of their pseudo-nationalism for appeasing 



the Muslim mind. “ Efforts of all and various forces/’ Savar- 
kar assertei’, “have led to the dawn of freedom. It is a 
victory achieved by the cumulative efforts and combination 
of all forces. Still Delhi is far off.” 

As regards his political mission, he declared that his aim 
was to establish a free independent Indian State on the bed- 
rock of the Hindus, tlie nalional majority. He added that he 
wanted to make the paper majority of the Hindus actively 
conscious of the fact that they were the bedrock and main- 
spring of the national life and the State. In I'rief but in un- 
mistakable terms, he defined his mission to be : 

(1) Absolute political independence of Hindusthan as the 

(2) Its achievement by any means. 

(3) Regeneration of the Hindus. 

Savarkar then explained why he laid stress on the consoli- 
dation of the Hindus, though he asked them to remove the 
rigidity of the cast-iron rituals, and to break all the barriers 
of caste system. The concept of Hindutva, he said, was 
broader than Hinduism which related to the religious system 
of the Hindus, their theology and dogma. But Hindutva was 
far more comprehensive and referred not only to the religious 
aspect of the Hindu people as the word Hinduism did, but 
comprehended their cultural, social, political, and linguistic 
aspects as well. He declared: “ Let Hinduism concern itself 
with the salvation of life after death, the concept of God, and 
the Universe. Let individuals be free to form opinions about 
the trio. The whole Universe from one end to the other is the 
real book of religion. But so far as the materialistic and 
secular aspect is concerned, the Hindus are a nation bound 
by a common culture, a common history, a common language, 
a common country, and a common religion.” 

The first appeal Savarkar made to the youth was to start 
rifle classes, to learn to handle at least the air-guns. “ There 
is a scope for drama, poetry and literature in life : but when 
the mother is on her death-bed, it is a sin to go out for a 
change of climate, or to enjoy life and stars,” he said. In the 
last week of October 1937, Savarkar hoisted at Poona the tri- 
colour flag of the Revolutionary India, which was designed 
by the Abhinava Bharat and first unfurled by Madame Cama 


in Germany. This was the first flag that was flown as the 
national flag of India since 1857, and fortunately it was 
brought to India after years through the efforts of Sri 
Gajananrao Kelkar. In the following montli Savarkar presided 
at the C.P. and Berar Hindu Conference in Akola. There he 
defined tlie principles of his nationalism. Since independence 
had come in sight, he thought,, it was the proper time to define 
it. He told the conference that every country was known 
after and ruled in the name of its national majority. “ The 
Hindus, the national majority of Hindusthan,” he declared, 
“had sacrificed almost exclusively for the liberation of 
Hindusthan. In that very Bengal which is now virtually 
ruled by the Muslims the sacrificial fire was kept burning by 
Hindus alone. The buried bones in the Andamans can also 
proudly proclaim that the heroes of independence were the 
Hindus. Whatever has been achieved is done through the 
sweat, struggle and sacrifice of the Hindus. Those laws and 
rules under which the weal, welfare, culture and honour of 
the Hindus would would alone constitute Swaraj 
for the Hindus ! ” He reiterated his unflinching resolve that 
if. was better to die in the thick of the fight for such a righteous 
cause than to live with passive interest and see its failure. 

Savarkar s visit to Nagpur had its peculiar charm and 
enthusiasm. A vast crowd received him at the Nagpur station. 
Amidst an atmosphere full of a new hope and charm, 
Dr. Moonje, flie champion of the Hindu cause, in a moving 
tone said that whatever service and power he had at his 
disposal, he laid from that moment at the disposal of Savarkar. 
On December 13, 1937, at Nagpur Savarkar warned the Hindus 
to be prepared to flout the Pakistan scheme. In the same 
speech, referring to the then political trend and happenings 
in Kaslunir, he foretold that the existence of Kashmir Hindus 
would soon be in utter danger, if the anti-Hindu forces were 
not checked at that very stage. How prophetic he was can 
be judged from the current history of Kashmir ! 

He, therefore, openly denounced Gandhiji’s ill-advice to the 
Maharaja of Kashmir to abdicate in favour of the Muslims 
and to go to Benai-es to do penance, because the Muslims were 
in a majority in Kashmir. He attacked the unfair attitude of 
Gandhi ji who would not advise in the same way the Nizam 


of Hyderabad and Nawab of Bhopal to iibdicale in favour of 
the majorities in those Stales, who happened to be Hindus, 
and ask the Muslim rulers to go to Mecca to do Toba \ The 
rapid advance of Savarkar’s fiery and clear-cut ideal of 
unalloyed nationalism began to create a nucleus of followers, 
leaders, and supporters all over India. It was in the fitness of 
things that such an inspired personality was elected 
unanimously to the presidents})ip of the Hindu Mahasabha, in 
spite of the opposition of some Congressmen for its nineteenth 
Annual Session which was held at Abinedabad on the 30th 
of December 1937. This the highest honour that the 
Hindus could confer upon him. Savarkar made the greatest 
sacrifice of his life in joining the Hindu Mahasabha and staked 
his name and his all for the cause of the Hindus. Pelf, power, 
and popularity were on the opposite side in the Congress. 
There was no position to which he could not have risen once 
he had joined the Congress. But he preferred duty to 
popularity, weal of the nation to personal wealth, and personal 
cross to popular crown. Prataps never pander to popularity 
or bend their necks to dishonourable eminence. It is given 
to Mansinghs to thrive on it. The Hindu Mahasabha now 
began to rise as a political organization. Savarkar infused life 
into it and gave it a Platform, a Slogan, a Bible, and a Banner ! 

And such a warrior philosopher appeared on the political 
field and platform of Indian politics, when the dawn of rosy 
revolution had faded away, the morning of the unalloyed 
nationalism of Dadabhai Naoroji and Tilak had disappeared, 
and the evenings were filled with weird shadows of pseudo- 
nationalism ! To defend the legitimate, civic, religious, 
cultural and economic rights of the Hindus in their Homeland 
was taboo in 1937 ! Builders of our nation like Shiv^aji, 
Pratap, and Guru Govindsingh were stigmatized as treache- 
rous or misguided ! Prophets like Daj^ananda, noble 
patriots like Lala Lajpat Rai and Swami Shraddhananda were 
decried as narrow-minded bigots. The Muslims were offered 
by Hindu leaders blank cheques of suzerainty over the Hindus 
on the one hand, and the Hindus were themselves offered 
blank betrayals by their leaders on the other. The inhuman 
atrocities of the Moplahs were painted with the colour of 
patriotism and brotherhood. The slogan, no Swaraj without 


Hindu-Muslim Unity, was the breath of life of the pseudo- 
nationalists, and this slogan was constantly and rightly held 
by the foreign Government as a loaded gun against the 
national demand for freedom. 

The policy of non-co-operation and non-violence was the cry 
of the day. Jail-seeking was regarded as the royal road to 
independence, although, in fact, it was a royal road to 
personal prestige and power. A soldier was accursed as a 
sinner, and a spinner in the Congress camp was nursed as a 
saviour ! The principle of one vote for three Hindus and 
three votes for one Muslim in the form of the Communal 
Awaj’d was accepted as justifiable, democratic and fully 
national. Recognition to Muslim population had become a 
righteous duty, but mere recording of the correct Hindu 
population in the census was a communal act. The cause of the 
Muslim religion had beconie a national call, and the Hindu 
religion became a symbol of reactionarism. Hindu leaders 
like Shrimati Sarojini Naidu appealing to the Muslims of the 
world to unite were eulogized, and the Muslim leaders, who 
publicly declared their intention to divide the Depressed 
Classes between the Hindus and Muslims, were elevated to ihe 
pedestal of Godheads. But Hindu leaders, who stood by 
Hindu self-respect, were branded as communalists. In fact, 
it was the Dark Age in Indian politics of the modern times, as 
Dr. Ambedkar once put it. 

At this dark period, the inspired personality of Savarkar 
appeared on the Indian political horizon incomparable in 
sacrifice, uncompromising in principles. The warrior, who had 
lived in his veritable grave, grappling with death for a quarter 
of a century, again came to the front. For the welfare of his 
people, for carving out the independence of his nation, he had 
eaten the coarsest food, worn the roughest clothes, slept on the 
bare earth in the darkest room, and was harnessed to the 

The voice of such a dynamic, mesmeric personality was 
bound to exercise an irresistible influence over the people. 
Savarkar felt it was his righteous duty to remove ruthlessly 
the web of Gandhism that had choked the political life of 
Hindusthan. Great political leaders are born with fabulous 
energy ! So was stubborn Tilak. So was tenacious Gandhiji. 


So was indefatigable Nehru. So was dynamic Savarkar. 
These were the four leaders that shook the remotest corner 
of Hindusthan with the vibrations of their views and vigour ! 
Savarkar marched from Province to Province, propagating 
his great ideal, explaining the territorial nationalism of the 
Congress, and expounding his own stand based on political 
rationalism and historical realism. He went on conquering 
new planes and new patriots, pushing aside time-old 
personalities and theories like cobwebs. 


Throughout the length and breadth of Hindusthan, 
Savarkar was hailed as the saviour of Hindusthan, pai’tly 
with mixed feelings of love and reverence and partly with 
awe and jealousy. A sea of humanity welcomed him in 
February 1938, at Delhi, the historic capital of India. In that 
memorable procession of thousands of people, Dr. Jayakar 
and Loknayak Aney took keen interest with pride. Flowers 
were showered, sweets were distributed, all public squares 
of Delhi were decorated and flags were unfuided in honoui- 
of the great hero, who made for the first time a triumphant 
entry into the heart of the nation. The new ideology stirred 
the United Provinces. This province w'as the chief scene of 
the romantic history of 1857, and naturally Savarkar's 
speeches were filled with the glorious reminiscences of that 
heroic struggle for Independence. The Cawnpore Municipality 
presented Savarkar with an address. Cities like Faizabad, 
Barabanki, Lucknow and Agra gave him public receptions. 
At Cawnpore he delivered, on April 3, 1938, an inspiring 
speech on ‘ 1857 ’. He said : “ This very Cawnpore has 
witnessed the defeat of the British forces at the hands of 
Tatya Tope. Since my childhood I have been cherishing an 
irresistible yearning for visiting this city as the venue of the 
scenes of revolution and visiting Kashi as the holy city of 
Hindusthan. Since my arrival hei-e I have been haunted by 
the spirits of Nanasahib, Tatya Tope, the war cries raised by 
their battalions and the thunder of their cannons." He saw the 
famous massacre Ghat at Cawnpore and the temple of Shiv 
whence Tatya Tope blew his bugle, and gave a clarion call to 


his ai-my. The historian of ‘ 1857 ’ astounded the people by 
exactly pointing out certain places imprinted with historical 
events of 1857, though il was his first visit to the city. 

At Faizabad he paid a visit lo the Sanskrit Pathashala and 
Gurukul. While replying to the address given by the institu- 
tion, Savarkar paid glowir.g tributes to the authorities and 
teachers of the Pathashala for having given equal opportunities 
to all Hindus irrespective of castes. Receiving an address on 
behalf of the public al Barabanki. Savarkar reached Lucknow 
on April 5. There he was taken in a grand procession, which 
pas.sed through ihe '.lieeis decorated with arches. At a 
jnanunuth public meotiug Saw'.rkar declared how the Congress 
liad departed from its u ue nationaUstn and was sui rendering 
to the anti-national demands of the Muslims. It was here thai 
Acharya Narendradeu saw Savarkar and exchanged views 
with him. Then addressing a meeting at Hasan Gaiij and 
Shahad Ganj, he reached Agra where he was accorded a 
rousing reception, and was presented with public addresses. 
In the Agra f ort Savarkar showed how and where Shivaji 
confronted the trembling Aurnngzcb. 

In the middle of April Savarkar visited Sholapur and 
during the first week of May 1958, attended the Hindu Youth 
Conference at Poona, when processions demanding the lifting 
of the ban on aaiiis were taken out. 

Then the land of the Vedas and the Five Rivers gave a 
.splendid reception to Savarkar, the warrior philosopher of the 
Land of Kannayoya. In the second week of May 1938, Lahore 
gave him a public reception. Amidst deafening applause he 
garlanded the stiilue of Lala Lajpat Rai, the lion of the Punjab. 
He also paid a visit to the liisloric Shahid Ganj of the Sikhs. 
At Lahore, in a Press interview, Savarkar said that he and 
Ml-. Jinnah were not birds of the same feather, because, while 
he stood for equality and no concessions. Mi-. Jinnah did not 
stand for equality and always asked for more and more 
concessions. Savarkar told the press representatives that he 
insisted that either there should be joint electorates without 
any reservation of seats for any community in any legislature 
or any local body, or there must be joint electorates with 
reservation of seats for minorities either on population basis 
or according to a system of weightages equally applicable to 


all minorities. He further said that the Congress should 
assume the role of a Parliament in whi^ ii all parties should 
participate, and not the role of a party ss it was developing 
in those days. 

While writing on the splended j ;ception accorded to 
Savarkar by Lahore people, the Trihn>ui, a leading Nationalist 
paper, appreciated the services that S ivarkar rendered to the 
cause of the Motherland. Discussing the difference between 
the viewpoints of Savarkar and Jinnah, the paper observed : 

As a matter of fact Mr. Savarkar 's anchor as a sincere and 
a rue nationalist holds as ever. The several speeches made 
Ijy liim during the last three days, show unmistakably both 
the general of hi.s political views and the fervour 
and intensity of his love ol country and freedom. His 
conception of a modern nation and an ideal state is that of a 
nation and state in which no difference is made between one 
person and artoiher on the score of community, religion or 
caste. Holding this view, and this is undoubtedly the only- 
correct view, it is only right that he should want the Congress 
which is India’s supreme national organization, not to 
recognize religion, class and community and to stand for the 
equal rights of all citizens.” * 

At Amritsar Savarkar was accorded an imposing reception 
by the people. Several thousands of Sikhs received Savarkar 
in the famous Golden Temple. When at a meeting the Sikhs 
presented Savarkar with a Kripan, he asked them what earthly 
use was served in presenting that Kripan to a Mahratta by 
those people for whom the Kripan had lost its meaning and 
spirit and whom the doctrine of non-violence was haunting ! 
Delivering a .speech at another public meeting, he said ; “ The 
more you follow the Hindu-Muslim xmity, the further it runs 
away from you. Plainly speaking, there does not exist any 
minority problem worth the name. The Parsis, the Jews and 
the Christians inhabiting this land never claimed special 
rights and the latter have declared more than once that they 
do not want separate electorates.” “ 

On his way back, he paid a visit to Ajmer. There addressing 
a big meeting, Savarkar paid tributes to the services of 

’ Quoted in The Mahratta, dated 20-5-1938. 



Gandhiji and other leaders of the Congress for creating a 
spirit of awakening in the country, but asked the people to 
oppose the Congress for its appeasing poUcy towards the 
Muslims. Referring to this new awakening, the Sunday 
Times, Lahore, paid a glowing tribute to Savarkar and said : 
“ He is a man of sterling worth and possesses an indomitable 
courage which made him boldly face the ordeals, through 
which he passed/’ ’ 

After paying \dsil.s to Ajmer, Nasik, Gwalior and Jodhpur, 
Savaikar turned to Sind. Long before, while in internment. 
Savarkar had sounded a grave warning to the Sind Hindus 
against the separation of Sind from the Bombay Province. 
H(jwe\'er. the limb of the Bombay Province, like the lamb in 
the Aesop’s Fable, was misled and was not only mutilated 
from Bombay, but subsequently was cut off from the 

The receptions accorded to Savarkar all over Sind from the 
1st to the 10th of September 1938, w'ere imposing. In Karachi 
the procession took five hours to wend its way to its destina- 
tion. The enthusiasm of the Hindus w'as afire. Sukkar vied 
with Karachi in offering its homage to the leader. The 
Hyderabad Municipality held a reception of civic welcome to 
the gi’eat son of India. Kothari and Sukkar Municipalities, 
too, paid their homage to Savarkar. The Sind Hindu 
Conference, which was then held at Sukkar under the lead 
of Savarkar, sounded a timely warning to the Sind Hindus, 
and asked them to boycott the Congress and organize a 
stronghold of Hindus to save their hearths, homes and interests 
in the near future. The Sind Hindus then under the evil 
influence of the Congress forgot this warning, and ultimately 
paid for their folly in 1947. Describing this tour of Savarkar, 
the Sind Observer, an English Daily of Congress persuasion, 
declared : “ He came, he saw, he conquered.” 

In October 1938, the Hyderabad (Bhaganagar) struggle was 
launched to vindicate the civic, religious, economic and 
political rights of the Hindus in' the Hyderabad State, who 
were groaning under the heels of the medieval tyranny of 
the Nizam. The Hindus and Sikhs in the State were not 
allowed to hold meetings, take out processions political or 

' Quoted in The Mahratta, dated 20-5-1938. 

President Sa’V'arkar taken out in a huge procession at Madura (1940) 


^eligious, repair their temples, and to start even private 
schools to educate the children in their mother tongue ; Hindu 
temples, Hindu Bazaars and Hindu houses were burnt down ; 
twelve per cent Muslim population held eighty per cent posts, 
positions and jobs of va?itage in the administration. And 
what was the attitude of the Congressmen to this movement 
foi' civil liberties ? Their head, Gandhiji, eventually 
declared that he did not want to embarrass His Exalted 
Higlmess the Nizam of Hyderabad. Such was the policy of 
the Congressmen and Gandhi}: that whenever the tyrants 
were Muslims and the tyra iu,Gd were Hindus, their 
nationalism, their love of justice, ^lieir love of civic rights and 
political liberty would at once crawl. Therefore in deference 
to the wish of their de facto leader, Gandhiji, the Congressmen 
did not raise their little finger against this barbarous and 
fanatical persecution. Their sympathy, their love of justice 
and their tears they poured and shed with Tagore for 
Abyssinia and the Arabs in Palestine. 

Savarkar attended the historic Aryan Conference at 
Sholapur in the last week of December 1938, at the pressing 
request from the leaders of the Arya Samaj for his guidance 
and lead in connection with the Hyderabad struggle, which 
was gathering momentum, and as a result of which several 
thousands of Hindu Civil Resisters were suffering imprison- 
ment in the Nizam’s jails. In the same week came off the 
Annual Session of the Hindu Mahasabha at Nagpur where 
Buddhist representatives from Japan also were present. The 
procession in honour of the President-elect took five hours 
to reach its destination. Boundless enthusiasm prevailed. 
Flowers were showered from an aeroplane upon President 
Savarkar, the chosen leader. The Presidential Address of 
Savarkar delivered at this Nagpur Session was a master-piece 
of the principles of nationalism and humanism, rights and 
duties of the minorities, of foreign policy and national and 
international politics. During the Session the Hyderabad 
Movement received the prime attention of all the 

Then followed Savarkar’s visit in the third week of 
February 1939, to the land of Bande Mataram, the home of 
Surendranath, C. R. Das, Bepin C. Pal, Arvind Ghose, and 



Khudiram Bose. The Khulna Conference opened a new 
outlet for the salvation of the Bengal Hindus. Such was the 
tremendous effect of Savarkar’s matchless oratory and 
dynamic personality on Bengal that, pointing to the thundering 
receptions to Savarkar and to his merciless logic, the Amrit 
Bazar Patrika, an organ of Congress persuasion, sounded a 
timely warning to the Congress bosses to be on their guard 
and to dissuade themselves from placating the unholy demand.^ 
of the Muslim League. Savarkar captivated the hearts of 
the leaders, lawyers, and public w'orkers of Bengal. 
Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjec was initiated into Indian 
politics, and he became a new as.sct and nucleus of Hindu 
Sanghatan ideology. Indeed, Mukherjee was a discovery of 
Savarkar’s tour in Bengal. Almost all Bengal papers published 
.special issues full of life-sketches of the romantic career of 
the Prince of the revolutionaries of Hindusthan. One dailj' 
described this tour as an all-talkie, all-movie tom* of the Indian 

After Bengal came the turn of Bihar, the land of the sturdy 
fighters and tough warriors for the Hindu cause. A Provincial 
Hindu Conference was held at Monghyr in the third week 
of March 1939, imder the Presidentship of Savarkar. The 
flag, the spirit and the ideology began to capture new fields 
and new avenues. Monghyr gave an imposing reception to 
Savarkar and the procession was the most splendid that the 
city ever witnessed. The leading Hindi Daily, the Prahhakar, 
of Monghyr, described it as an unparalleled reception ever 
accorded to Great Men. Savarkar delivered his stirring 
Presidential Address with great heartforce. He declared that 
Hinduism and Hindutva were two different things. Hindutva 
constituted, he said, all those aspects and aspirations which 
the word nationalism comprised ! The Indian Nation, Patna, 
commenting on the Presidential Address of Savarkar, wrote : 

“ It was a stirring speech. He made an impassioned appeal 
to Hindus to unite to resist inroads, and revive their past 
glory. His speech was heard with rapt attention and 
created an atmosphere of great enthusiasm among the Hindus. 
He spoke with feeling, and the audience also was greatly 
impressed with the arguments he gave in support of his 
conclusions.” Then followed the Mahakoshal Provincial 


Hindu Conference at Jubbulpore in the first week of June 
1939. The idea of the unjust treatment to the national 
majority of the Hindus and the danger of disintegration of 
Hindusthan began to attract the attention of the Hindus. The 
Jubbulpore Municipality held a civic welcome in honour of 
Savarkar at the time of the Conference. 

In the meantime ‘ Hyderabad Days ’ were observed all over 
India by Hindu Sanghatanists ; centres of civil resistance 
movement were opened w' dictators in charge at Poona, 
Nagpur, and Akola. The I’ ndu Mahasabha gave Savarkar 
full powers in respect of ifn movement. Savarkar toured 
Berar in the middle of April and in June 1939, and gave a 
tremendous impetus to the Hyderabad struggle. Touching 
scenes in villages and towns on the border lines of C.P. and 
Berar and Bombay provinces and on the banks of the 
Penganga at Umarkhed in Berar were witnessed on those 
occasions. One of the most touching incidents at one of these 
mammoth meetings took place when the tribal leaders of the 
forest dwellers — ^Pardhis — devotionally honoured Savarkar 
with a rough woollen blanket and a lathi in their tribal 

Savarkar’s thrilling voice was then heard, giving a send-off 
to several batches of volunteers who entered the Hyderabad 
State to offer civil resistance. Nearly 15,000 volunteers, 
workers and leaders were suffering imprisonment for having 
offered the civil resistance. Senapati Bapat, Sri L. B. 
Bhopatkar, Sri S. R. alms Mamai'ao Date, Dr. Paranjpe, Sri D. 
K. Sathe, Sri Anantrao Gadre and Sri Bapurao Joshi from 
Maharashtra, and Sri Chandakiran Sarada, Mahashay 
Krishna, Pandit Narayan Swami, and Baba Madansingh Gaga 
from other provinces led battalions of civil resisters into the 
Hyderabad State and Yeshwantrao Joshi, the leader of the 
Hindu Sabha in Hyderabad, with his colleagues had already 
been arrested and sentenced by the State bureaucracy. Pandit 
Nathuram Godse, who was the Secretary of the Pratikar 
Mandal established at Poona under the Presidentship of Sri G. 
V. Ketkar, Editor Mdhratta, had led the first batch of civil 
resisters from Maharashtra into Hyderabad, the administra- 
tively most dangerous State in India. 

During this Movement there was complete co-operation 


savarkar anh his times 

between the Hindu Mahasabha and the Arya Samaj in spite 
of the wily hindrances created by topmost Congress leaders, 
callous misrepresentations made by the so-called nationalist- 
^ujn-Congress press, unsympathetic attitude of the Provincial 
Congress Ministries and the non -embarrassment policy of 
Gandhiji. On April 5, 1939, Savarkivr successfully foiled in 
a fighting speech the plans of Gandhiji at the Sholapur Aryan 
Conference which was on the verge of withdrawing the civil 
Resistance Movement in pursuance of Gandhiji’s draft 
resolution ! Gandhiji was so sure of the withdrawal of the 
Movement by the Arya Samaj that ho even saw Dr. Moonje 
in Delhi, told him about the draft resolution, and asked 
Moonje to wire to Savarkar to follow suit. Dr. Moonje told 
Gandhiji that Gandhiji should not trouble himself about the 
Movement started by the Hindu Mahasabha and added that 
Savarkar knew best how and where to stop it. 

As was their wont, the Congressmen were then busy 
supporting the Muslim struggle against the Kashmir 
State. Except the weak-need policy of their prototypes in 
the Hyderabad State who stopped their struggle in the State 
on instructions from the Congress High Command and 
Gandhiji, they never seriously denounced the medieval 
barbarism and misrule of Hyderabad State, which had 
assaulted several Hindu civil resisters in its jails and put to 
death about a dozen of them in the jails. Though the Congi-ess 
journals and leaders kept themselves unconcerned with the 
struggle against the Hyderabad State, the agitation reached 
the British Parliament. In the British Parliament Col. Wedg- 
wood raised the question of Hyderabad struggle carried on 
by the Hindu Sanghatanists. and the same day Sri Bhide 
Guruji hoisted the Geruva flag on the British Residency at 

After a prolonged struggle H.E.H. the Nizam was brought 
to his knees and in accordance with his traditional policy 
bowed down to save his Gadi before he was completely .beaten. 
On the 19th of July 1939, H.E.H. the Nizam declai-ed the 
reforms wherein he gave recognition to the Civil Resistance 
Movement, and offered to the Hindus at least 50 per cent of 
the seats in the elected Legislatures wherein formerly the 
Hindus had zero per cent representation. Savarkar who 


smelt the coming sweep of World War II withdrew the 
movement after this partial success. The Arya Samaj followed 
suit. This successful termination of the struggle for the civic, 
political, economic and religious rights of the Hindus and 
Sikhs, who were totally suppressed in the Hyderabad State, 
was a new feather in Savarkar’s cap and added prestige and 
power to his leadership. Through the struggle Savarkar felt 
the pulse of Maharashtra. The undying spirit of Shivaji and 
Tilak was not yet dead the and Savarkar experienced that 
spirit again revolting agains^ ranny and injustice. 

Now all was not well with t\\e Congress and its lead. Owing 
to the gi*owing popularity of the Hindu Mahasabha under the 
lead of Savarkar, the Congress High Command resolved to 
boycott the Hindu Mahasabha. This was an amazing stand 
taken by the Congress lead. But no Mahasabhaite worth 
the name worried himself about this boycott. 

In the last week of September 1939, Savai^kar visited a few 
places in Karnatak. He spoke in the Municipal Hall and 
in the Karnatak college at Dharwar, and addressed meetings 
at Hubli and some other villages like Hosur, Gurla Hosur, 
Bail Hongul and gave a fillip to the Hindu Sanghatan work. 
Savarkar ’s next visit outside Maharashtra was to Meei’ut in 
the first week of October 1939, to support the candidature of 
Maharaja Krishna in the provincial bye-election. There the 
opposition from the Muslims and Congressmen to the Hindu 
Mahasabha was smouldering. The Muslims even attacked 
Savarkar’s procession at Meerut and there ensued a deadlock 
in the street between the two sides. The U.P. police force 
of Sri Govind Vallabh Pant as expected failed to protect the 
just and legitimate rights of the peace-loving Hindu 
processionists, and indirectly encouraged the aggressive 
nature of the Muslims by forcing the Hindus themselves to 
abandon the procession. 

After Savarkar’s arrival in Bombay a statement was issued 
to the press by seven leaders namely Sir Cowasji Jehangir, 
Sir Chimanlal Setalvad, Sir V. N. Chandavarkar on behalf 
of the Indian Liberals, Savarkar on behalf of Hindu 
Mahasabha, Sri N. C. Kelkar and Sri Jamnadas Mehta on 


behalf of the Democratic Swaraj Party, and Dr. Ambedkar 
on behalf of the Independent Labour Party. These seven 
leaders declared : “ The Congress and the Congress Govern- 
ments believe in annihilating all parties and making the 
Congress the only party in the land, as is the case in Fascist 
and Nazi regimes — a result which would be a deathblow to 
Democracy.” ^ This timely warning against the developing 
Fascism had its effect. The Congress papers attacked 
Savarkar particularly, saying that Savarkar could do nothing 
but join the Liberals. Sounding a warning with the patriotic 
men against the Congress Fascism was something unpatriotic, 
but surrendering the national interests at Jinnah’s feet was to 
the monopolised press a patriotic and national act ! 

Then came a great event in Savarkar's romantic life. The 
British Power that had exiled him for 27 years thought it 
fit to interview Savarkar at New Delhi on October 9, 1939, 
to know his views and policy about World War II. In the 
course of the interview Savarkar frankly told His Excellency, 
the Governor-General Lord Linlithgow, that he still was a 
revolutionary ; but as the political situation and strategy 
demanded it, he was prepared to co-operate in the policy of 
Militarisation and suggested to Government to keep the Sikh 
and Gurkha battalions on the North-West Frontiers. He 
feared, however, that an attack on India would probably be 
made from the Eastern side. The Viceroy was so much 
impressed with Savarkar’s lucid discourse on the current 
problems that he expressed to some of liis Executive 
Councillors that Savarkar was possibly the only politician who 
could ably discuss the war situation from the Indian 
viewpoint and its major issues in the context of international 
politics. The Viceroy was also surprised to see that in spite 
of an unusual record of long incarceration and great sufferings 
Savarkar was still alert, and clear in thinking and unflagging 
in energy ! In the evening Sir Jagdish Prasad and 
Sir Ramswami Mudaliar, Members of the Executive Council 
of the Viceroy, invited Savarkar to a tea-party. 

1 P. R. Lele, War and India’s Freedom, p. 89. 


After Savarkar’s interview with the Viceroy, the Hindu 
Mahasabna Working Committee passed its famous resolution 
declaring that neither the allies nor the axis powers entered 
war with any altruistic motives ; but they were out for their 
national or imperialistic ambitions. 

The Calcutta Session of the Hindu Mahasabha held during 
the last week of December 1939, proved to be a landmark in 
the history of the Hindu Mahasabha and in the life of 
Savarkar. So great was the enthusiasm that the President- 
elect had to pass two sleepless nights to attend receptions 
accorded to him by thou. ands of people at every important 
station en route to Calcutta. The Howrah station was packed 
to capacity with anxious crowds of workers and eager public. 
Cheer upon cheer greeted his arrival. Heaps of geirlands 
were showered upon Savarkar, groups of bands played before 
the station, and numerous photographs were taken. Eager 
sightseers lined the roadways waiting to cheer the warrior 
philosopher. Then followed the largest procession Bengal 
ever witnessed. Armed Sikh horsemen led the procession. 
Rose water and scents were sprinkled upon the President- 
elect by crowds of men and women standing in the balconies, 
and on the roofs to witness the mammoth procession and have 
a look at the great leader of Hindusthan. This was the biggest 
session of the Mahasabha held till then. More than two 
lakhs of people participated. In his Presidential Address 
Savarkar reiterated the basic tenets of nationalism, reviewed 
the problem of minorities, and propounded his doctrine of 
national co-ordination of class interests. 

Savarkar’s dynamic personality and his clear-cut thinking 
and his characteristic fearlessness made an irresistible 
impression on the minds of thinking men in the country. Their 
repercussions were echoed through different leading news- 
papers of India. The HindvMhan Standard, Calcutta, 
remarked : “ The president himself is a dynamic personality 
who radiates hope where there is defeatism, brings cheer 
where there is distress and calls into play creative energy 
where there is desolation. The Hindu Mahasabha must be 
beholden to Providence that it has succeeded after years of 
wandering in the wilderness in claiming for three years in 
unbroken succession as its leader and spokesman that high 


priest of militant Indian Nationalism who has dreamt dreams 
and seen visions. . . . ” ^ 

BengaFs another great journal, the Ainrit Bazar Patrika, 
observed : “ Whether one agrees with nil his views or not, 
Mr. Savarkar compels attention by the boldness and clarity 
of his utterances. He knows no doubt or hesitation. His 
logic is merciless ; his humour caustic, and his irony efTective. 
He is a man with a mission. The faith that burns in him 
throws a halo all round and he seems as he delivers liis 
message and advances like a conquering liero, sweeping iiway 
from his path like cobwebs all time-worn theories arjd 
personalities.” Sounding a warning to the Congress, the 
Amrit Bazar Patrika further said : “ One consideration is that 
Congi’ess has lost its hold over Bengal. We shall not go into 
the story today, but it is an admitted fact that it is the 
non-communal outlook of the Congress which has failed to 
satisfy the Hindus of this Province ” And the paper added : 

In Indian polities we have at least a man who is not afraid 
to call a spade a spade.” 

Styling Savarkar’s Presidential Address as militant, the 
Tribune, Lahore, stated : The militancy is not only intel- 
ligible, but in part defensible as a natural reaction produced 
in the sensitive Hindu minds by the aggressive Communalism 
of the Muslim League.”** The New India, (‘ominenting on the 
Address, observed : ‘‘ Thrice Mr. Nehru was elected as 

Congress President and thrice has Mr. Savarkar been chosen 
as the Mahasabha leader. Both have certain qualities in com- 
mon. Both made great sacrifices for the country and both 
possess a trenchancy of style which is direct and provocative. 
Had he been admiitted into the inner cricle of the Congress 
fold, I am sure, Mr. Savarkar would have become President 
of that organisation. Whether right or wrong, the man is 
utterly and downrightly sincere.” ^ 

Another significant feature attached to the Session was that 
the Maharaja of Nepal was given a garden party and a Public 
Address under the signature of President Savarkar on behalf 
of the Hindu Mahasabha. Ill-health prevented Savarkar from 

^ Quoted in The Mahratta, dated 5-1-1940. 

- Ibid. 

3 Ibid. 

4 Ibid, 

W H I R L W I N D P ^ 1 A G A N D A 217 

attending the function. The Maharaja himself honoured 
Savarkar, when he went to the ‘'cdside of Savarkar and had 
a private talk with him about S varkar’s mission for an hour. 
During these days Sri N. R. ' u kar also saw Savarkar and 
discussed the gcmeral policj^ o (lie Hindu Mahasabha and the 
politics i). India. 

During the Iasi week of auuary 1940, at Malabar Hill, 
Bombay, Savarkar discusser \^' th the leaders of Parsi com- 
munity the rights of mo Immediately thereafter 

Savarkar made a tour of W st Khandosh in the middle of 
March 1940. Such was the \itality and energy of Savarkar in 
those days that he ran through a crowded programme of 
meetings at several places from Chalisgaon to Daundaiche in 
a single day. Paying flying visits and making speeches at 
Takarkhed, Shahade arid Prakashe, he came to Talode where 
the Jahagirdar received him. The public meeting was attended 
by the leaders of the Bhills. It was during these tours that 
a Bhill, who had completed his term of punishment in the 
Andamans, fell at Savarkar’s feel. The devotion of the con- 
victs in the Andamans to Savarkar was boundless. The author 
has seen one Kusha Patil, a convict on his return from the 
Andamans, paying homage to Savarkar as the ‘ God incarnate ’ 
of the land ! Kusha Patil said : “ It was through Savarkar \s 
care and kind words that I became what I am today ! ” After 
addressing very big public meetings at Nandurbar, Pimpalner 
and Dhulia, Savarkar returned to Bombay. 

In the last week of March 1940, Savarkar left for Salem to 
attend the Salem Hindu Conference. Receiving addresses 
of welcome en route at several stations, he reached Salem. In 
the Municipal House he spoke on the importance of military 
training. At the Conference he spoke on the need for Hindu 
Sanghatan and military training and exhorted the Hindus to 
oppose the Muslim League scheme of partition of Hindusthan. 
He paid his respects to Sri Vijay Raghavahariar, an 
ex-President of the Hindu Mahasabha, and also once a 
president of the I. N. Congress, at his residence. 

At Madras on the morning of the 25th March, he waj given 
a great ovation. Dr. T. S. S. Raj an, an ex-minister of the 
Madras Province and one-time lieutenant of Savarkar in his 
London days met him. In the evening before an audience of 


thousands of Hindus Savarkar spoke at the beach on the 
need of Hindu Sanghatan ideology and the necessity of oppos- 
ing the scheme of partition sponsored by the Muslim League. 
In the city he was given addresses of welcome by several 
associations of Arya Samajists, Marwaris, Sindhis, Gujaratis, 
etc. On the 26th March 1940, the birthday anniversary of 
Shivaji, Savarkar spoke on the politics of Shivaji at a mam- 
moth meeting held on the beach of Madras under the 
presidenlsliip of Dr. P. Varadarajalu Naidu. 

After a fortnight Savarkar again left Bombay for his 
Travancore tour. Unprecedented receptions were accorded 
to him throughout the state. At Quilon he was honoured as 
a State Guest. The Changanacheri Municipality accorded hin) 
an address of welcome. The leaders of the Christian com- 
munity interviewed Savarkar. Representatives of the so- 
called untouchables saw him. At the Hindu Conference held on 
May 5, 1940, at Changanacheri, Savai'kar spoke on the policy 
of the Mahasabha towards the States and the importance of 
shuddhi. At TinneveUy station he was accorded a rousing 
reception. After a grand procession Savarkar was heard at 
a public meeting with rapt attention. On receiving addresses 
of welcome at the stations of Kolipatti, Satur and Virudhu- 
nagar, he reached Madura, the Athens of South India. Great 
honour done only to Great Acharyas was done to Savarkar 
by the priests of the famous Meenakshi Temple. At Madura 
elephants, horses, camels headed the procession, carrying the 
Hindu National flag through decorated streets. Rose water 
mixed with fragrant sandalwood was sprinkled on the proces- 
sion. After running through a crowded programme, Savarkar 
addressed a mammoth meeting in the city and returned to 

On July 5, 1940, Savarkar had a second interview with the 
Viceroy at Simla. In the evening Sri Jai Lai, a retired judge 
of the Lahore High Court, arranged in his honour a tea-party 
at his residence. Sir Jogendra Singh, an ex-minister of the 
Punjab, Raja Sir Daljit Singh, Sardar Raghuveer Singh and 
Sri Ji^tice Varma of the Patna High Court were present. 
During the discussion Savarkar impressed upon them the 
need for the Hindu Sanghatan Movement. When Savarkar 
returned to the Simla Station, he received a telephone 


message from H,H. the Jamsahib of Nawanagar, the then 
Chancellor of the Chamber of Princes in India, requesting him 
for a meeting, but the same cov d not be arranged for want 
of time. On his return journey '.ir Sikandar Hyat Khan, the 
Premier of the Punjab, and ‘ v.srkar’s one-time colleague, 
learning that Savarkar was he same train, visited his 
compcirtment, and greeted hit id colleague and revolutionary 
party leader in a most to- .-I ng manner. Sri Walchand 
Hirachand, the business magnat of India, also met him in the 
train, and had a long talk wil i him. In August he attended 
the death anmversary of Tilak at Poona where he averred in 
his famous speech that absolute non-violence is absolutely 

After such a strenuous lightning and whirlwind propaganda 
from the northern to the southern ends of Hindusthan, 
Savarkar’s health began to deteriorate. The whole burden of 
the party, of propaganda, of co-operation, of correspondence, 
and of organization rested on him. The wonder was that a 
frail frame having gone through the ordeals of an unusually 
long torturous incarceration and rigorous hard prison life 
in the Andamans could stand such a mighty task ! He was 
the only great leader, besides the two great Congress leaders 
Gandhiji and Nehru, who could pour out political energy and 
vibrate every corner of India, but the hardships of Savarkar 
were to those of the latter pair what Himalayas are to the 
Satpudas. Savarkar had to struggle against heavy odds, 
against the greatest political organization under the sun, had 
to create his party funds and leaders, and had to suffer inordi- 
nately for want of press. The sciatic pain in his leg linger*ed 
for a long time. In the last week of December 1940, the 
Annual Session of the Hindu Mahasabha was held at Madura. 
Savarkar was unanimously elected President by all Provin- 
cial Hindu Sabhas despite his ill-health and his repeated 
appeals to the contrary. He reached Madura in a special train 
with more than 250 delegates from Maharashtra. He was 
brought to the dais, reclining in a chair. In his address he 
dealt with the war situation and the doctrine of non-violence. 
Those were the days of Individual Civil Disobedience Move- 
ment started by the Congress. Some Mahasabhaites felt an 
itch for some sort of Direct Action against Government, and 


to that end a resolution was passed during the Session against 
Savarkar’s will. To Savarkar courting jail alone was no 
patriotism. He wanted Hindu youths to give impetus to the 
Militarisation Movement, and get themselves ‘ re-animated 
and reborn ’ into a martial race. 

On January 19, 1941, Savarkar presided over the Centenary 
Ceremony of the Public Library of Nasik, and, after makirsg 
a fitting speech in memory of poet Govind. his former col- 
league, he unveiled his statue. The Trimbak Municipality 
also gave him an address. 

On the 13th and 14th of March 1941, Savarkai' attended and 
guided the Non-Party Leaders’ Conference which under the 
presidentship of Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru urged reconstruction 
of the Viceroy’s Executive Council. 

In the meanwhile, the Direct Action Resolution was dis- 
cussed by the Working Committee of the Hindu Mahasabha 
at Nagpur and its operation was finally postponed on June 15, 
1941, by the All-India Committee of the Hindu Mahasabha 
at Calcutta. This time Savarkar performed the ceremony of 
laying the stab of Sri Ashutosh Mookeriec Memorial in the 
Ashutosh Hall at Calcutta. The Kali Mandir priests presented 
Savarkar with an address. In July 1941, Savarkar attended 
the Sapru Conference in Poona and spoke on the Akhand 
Hindusthan Resolution whereupon he not only dominated the 
Conference, but also took it by .storm. He then left for Sangli 
accompanied by Sri N. C. Kelkar, where he was given a great 
ovation and addresses of welcome, and where he addressed 
several meetings. Overcome with Savarkar’s inspiring mes- 
sage, tremendous influence and powerful oratory which he 
likened to the power of radium, Sri Kelkar wrote an editorial 
in the Kesari under his signature wherein he sent forth a 
forceful appeal asking the Mahasabhaites and the Tilakites 
to stand by Savarkar irrevocably. On his return Savarkar 
addressed a mammoth meeting before the Shaniwarwada at 
Poona on the impending calamity, Pakistan. 

In November 1941, Savarkar toured Assam, the far Eastern 
province of India. At Shillong he was accorded a great 
ovation. There he was told that Pandit Nehru’s attention was 
drawn to the Muslim influx into Assam, when the Pandit 
replied that nature hates vacuum. Savarkar told his audience 


that Pandit Nehru, being neither a philosopher nor a scientist, 
did not know that nature abhors poisonous gas ! 

Then followed in the last week of December 1941, the 
Bhagalpur Session of the Hindu Mahasabha, the most momen- 
tous and eventful of the Mahasabha Sessions. Government 
had put a ban on this Session under the pretext of maintaining 
peace and communal harmony in the Province. Savarkar, 
who had almost withdrawn from the contest for the presidency 
of the Hindu Mahasabha, was provoked into accepting the 
presidential office, and he gave a fight for the civic rights and 
liberty of the people. A hundred thousand workers rushed to 
the scene, f)*oin Rajas to Raises, from millowners to millhands, 
from Sanataiiists to Sikhs, from Jains to the so-called un- 
touchables, carried on the active struggle, and defended the 
honour of the Hindu flag, the fundamental civil liberties of 
freedom of speech and freedom of association of the people. 
Huge demonstrations were made, sudden open meetings were 
held in breach of the ban, invoking and facing lathi charges, 
armed mounted soldiers, floggings, bayonets, and imprison- 
ment. Organised fury was witnessed in cities, towns and 
villages all over the six districts of Bihar which came undei* 
the ban. 

Many prominent statesmen like Sri Srinivas Sastri con- 
demned this unjust ban, Gandhiji could do it only after 
having a dig at Savarkar, for he thought that Savarkar had 
resorted to his weapon of Satyagraha. But the other Congress 
bosses had nothing to say about it. They were busy contem- 
plating help to China or Spain torn and afflicted by civil wars. 
Savarkar was arrested at Gaya en route to Bhagalpur and 
put in jail. And yet to the despair of the forces and fire of 
Government the Session was held in Bhagalpur, when Sri G. 
V. Ketkar, with the revolting spirit of his grandfather, Lok- 
manya Tilak, rose to the occasion and read out Savarkar ’s 
Presidential Address ! All the thousands of civil resisters 
including Savarkar were released after a week. This Session 
is important in many respects. The Bhagalpur Civil Resis- 
tance success proved to be an abiding source of strength and 
self-confidence, and demonstrated that in spite of castes, 
creeds, sects and sections, Hindudom did pulsate with a com- 
mon national urge, proving that Pan-Hindu consciousness was 


a vigorous reality. Another aspect of the struggle was that 
it proved to the hilt that even the Hindus by themselves could 
launch a nation-wide mass movement in defence of the rights 
of the people. 

Along with the militarisation, political and literary move- 
ments, the social movement for the consolidation of the 
Hindus went hand in hand as before. Throughout India 
Savarkar attended meetings, and presided over conferences 
held in connection with the removal of untouchabiUty. During 
his lours he visited societies conducted by and for the uplift 
of the so-called untouchables, visited their localities, took 
water, refreshments and dinners at their quarters, inquired 
into their local grievances and encouraged anti-caste dinners 
which he had inaugurated since the days of Ratnagiri. At 
Chanda, Chalisgaon, Nagai’, Poona, Lahore, Hyderabad 
(Sind) , Sukkar and Delhi he attended anti-caste dinners. He 
presided over the Dayanand Dalitoddhar Parishad at Ferozpur 
(Punjab). At the time of the All-India Sessions of Hindu 
Mahasabha, big anti-caste dinners were held in Nagpur and 
later on also in Cawnpore. At Monghyr he dined with the 
Santhals. At Cawnpore he told the Session during the course 
of his Presidential Address that banishing untouchabiUty in 
any shape or form was to win a major battle. Depressed 
Class leaders from Dr. Ambedkar to Sir Jogendra N. Mandal 
saw him, and discussed the problem with him. 

Another programme Savarkar attended whenever and 
wherever possible was his encouraging visits to the centres, 
gatherings and parades of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak 
Sangh. He encouraged the Sanghites, patronised them, at 
times advised them not to while away their whole life under 
incrustation, and asked them to fight for the realization of 
their ideal. 


Hindu Manifesto or Savarkarism 


The ideal and ideology which Sav£irkar laid down and 
propagated is called the Hindu Sanghatan ideology or Hindu 
Nationalism or Savarkarism. Although a natural development, 
an outgrowth and a manilestation of the various views and 
tenets upheld by several Hindu nationalists jointly, severally 
or individually, the ideology is pul into a form and finally 
formulated and codified into an integrated doctrine of social 
and political outlook on life by Savarkar. Savarkar is there- 
fore to this Hindu ideology what Newton is to the Law of 
Gravitation or Marx to Socialism. Each of them applied 
his own logic tc> the diverse views and brought unity in 

According to Carlyle, the merit of originality is not novelty ; 
it is sincerity. To him ‘ the believing man is the original 
man What is absolutely original ? Some say originality 
is but a pair of fresh eyes. Milton and Shakespeare wrote 
nothing new. Milton borrowed his description of Paradise, of 
Satan and many other parts of his Paradise Lost from 
St. Avi’tus who wrote the Expulsion from Paradise, Milton 
borrowed largely also from Du Bartas.- Conceding that 
Shakespeare found nearly all his material in the writings of 
others and that he was indebted to others for most of the 
stories of his plays, in his lecture on Shakespeare, Ingersoll 
states that * the question is not, Who furnished the stone, or 
Who owned the quarry ? but, Who chiselled the statue ? " " 
The originality of the philosophy of Marx has often been 
questioned as it is said he owed his theory of abolition of 
private property to Mably ; he borrowed his labour theory 
from Locke and Adam Smith or Ricardo and the theory of 
exploitation and surplus value and historical materialism from 

1 Carlyle, Lectures on Heroes, pp. 118-19. 

“Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, pp. 576-77. 

^ Ingersoll, Lectures And Essays^ p. 91. 


others. But none denies that Marx is the sculptor of socialism. 
So, too, though there have been great Hindu leaders of 
pronounced Hindu thought before Savarkar or existed even 
in his day, none of them advocated all the principles or singly 
fought for thorn. They were stone-masons to this ideology, 
but the sculptor was Savarkar. In modern times Vivekananda. 
Tilak, Lajpat Rai and Hardayal were looked upon as great 
Hindu leaders of Thought, who .spoke and wrote about Hindu 
thought. Vivekananda was a great philosopher, who devoted 
his lifetime and great talents to the unfolding of the Hindu 
pliilosophy and propagated it without political bias or a desii’e 
to win worldly gain to Mollier India. Nevertheless, he was 
of opinion that a nation in India must be a union of those 
whose hearts beat to the same spiritual tune.' His ideal for 
India was “ an Islamic body with a Vedantic heart.” - 

Conscious of the separatist tendencies of the Muslims, Lajpat 
Rai, a staunch Hindu leader, held that Hindus were a nation 
in themselves because they represented a type of civilization 
all their own. Hardayal wrote in the Pratap of Lahore in 
1925 ; “ I declare that the future of the Hindu Race, of 

Hindusthan and the Punjab, rests on these four pillars — (1) 
Hindu Sanghatan, (2) Hindu Raj, (3) Shuddhi of Moslems, 
and (4) Conquest and Shuddhi of Afghanisthan and the 
Frontiers. So long as the Hindu Nation does not accomplish 
these four things, the safety of our children and great-grand- 
children will be ever in danger, and the safety of the Hindu 
Race will be impossible.” * Tilak, a representative leader of 
Hindu Thought, had neither the time nor an opportunity to 
apply his mind to the geographical iiationalism of his day. 
The only seer, who was conscious of this ideology in some 
way, was Dayananda. But unlike Savarkar, he perhaps held 
that there was no knowledge beyond the Vedas ; besides, 
Dayananda was more a social than a political force. 

Sri Bhai Parmananda w'as a strong advocate of the concept 
of the Hindu Nation. Swami Shraddhananda and Bhai 
Parmananda were kin to Lajpat Rai just as Hardayal was kith 
to Savarkar ; but none was kin to Savarkar. There were 

' Swami Vivekananda, Lectures From Colombo To Ahnora, p. 306. 

“ My Motherland Series, Sri Ramkrishna Paramahamsa, p. 16. 

^ Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Tlimights on Pakistan, p. 123. 


promoters of Hindu solidarity and advocates of the removal of 
untouchability in Maharashtra and in other provinces too, 
before Savarkar. They did their work in their own way 
according to the demands of their times and needs as saviours 
of Hindusthan. There were champions of Hindu nationalism 
amongst the contemporaries of Savarkar. But the ideas of 
the social reform of Savarkar’s pi'edecessors and the politics 
of his contemporaries found a rare combination in Savarkar. 
Savarkar held definite thoughts with regard to the rejuvena- 
tion of Hindudom. His -ipproach to the Hindu-Muslim 
problem, the doctrine of iibsolute non-violence in thought, 
word and deed, and the foreign policy distinguishes him from 
all other leaders ; and his radical views about social regenera- 
tion and revolution, political concepts and precepts of a nation, 
economic policy, problem of the national script and Lingua 
Franca, and his ideas about a World Commonwealth or 
Humanism form the Hindu Manijesto of a social and political 
system for the Hindus in an outspoken, concise and virile foim, 
sustaining their struggle for existence and enabling them to 
contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world. No 
wonder then that Savarkar’s monumental work entitled 
Hindutva was acclaimed by Swami Shraddhananda as a 
message given at the dawn of a new age ; and Savarkar’s 
famous presidential speech at Ahmedabad giving the 
fundamental principles of the Hindu Nation was hailed by 
Bhai Parmananda as the Bible of Hindu Sanghatan. 

What is Hindutva 

The word Efindu is the heart of that ideology, and 
Hindusthan its geographical centre. According to Savarkar 
“ every person is a Hindu who regards and owns this Bharat 
Bhoomi — ^this land from the Indus to the seas, as his Father- 
land and Holyland — the land of origin of his religion and the 
cradle of his faith.” Therefore it follows that the followers 
of Vedism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and all Hill-tribes are 
all Hindus. Around this life-centre moves Hindutva which 
Savarkar defines as not only the spiritual or religious history 
of our people, but the history in full pervasion. Hinduism is 
only a derivative, a fraction, a part of Hindutva. Hindutva is 



not, he observes, particularly theocratic, a religious dogma or 
a creed. It embraces all the departments of thought and 
activity of the whole being of the Hindu race. Forty 
centuries, if not more, he states, liad been at work to mould 
it as it is. Prophets and poets, lawyers and lawgivers, heroes 
and historians, have thought, lived, fought and died just to 
have it spelled thus.* 

What is Sanghatan? and Why? 

This movement is called Hindu Sanghatan and means 
organization for the solidarity and strength of the Hindu 
Nation. But what constitutes a nation ? 

What Constitutes a Nation? 

A nation is a group of mankind which is bound together by 
some or all of these common ties such as common religion and 
culture, common history and traditions, common literature, 
and consciousness of common rights and wrongs, occupying 
a territory of geographical unity, and aspiring to form a 
political unit. When a nation realizes this ambition, it 
becomes a State. A nation may be without a State. A State 
is a governmental unit and it may have more than one 
nationality under its rule. By ‘ nationality ’, Mr. C. B. Fawcell, 
the author of Frontiers — A Study In Political Geography, 
understands the group of qualities which characterize the 
people of any one nation. French nationality, he says, is that 
group of qualities which distinguish the French from other 
European people.- 

Eminent Authobs on the Pkinciples 

The principal elements instrvunental in the formation of a 
nation are a common past, a common tradition and a will to 
live together. Renan defines a nation as a social group whose 
solidarity has been established by the sentiment of the 
sacrifices made in the past and of those it is still ready to 
make in the future. In his essay on Nationality he observes 

* Savarkar, Hindutva, p. 3. 

* C. B. Fawcell, Frontiers — A Study In Political Geography, p. 5. 


that “ a nation is a living soul, a spiritual principle. . . . One 
is the common possession of a rich heritage of memories ; the 
other is actual consent, the desire to live together, the will 
to preserve worthily the undivided inheritance which has 
been handed down.” Renan proceeds ; “ The nation Uke the 
individual is the outcome of long past, of efforts and sacrifices, 
and devotion.” Prof. Harold J. Laski lays it down that it 
(nationality) implies a sense of special unity which marks 
off those who share in it from the rest of mankind. 
“ That unit is the outcome of common history, of victories 
won and traditions created by a corporate effort. There 
grows up a sense of kinship which binds men into 
oneness. They recognise their hkeness, and emphasize their 
difference from other men.” ^ Dr. Holland Rose writes that 
“ nationality is at its height a union of hearts once made, never 
unmade — a spiritual conception unconquerable, indestruc- 
tible.” * “ In reality,” observes Garner, “ a nation is not a 
portion of society politically organised, that is, it is not a 
State, but in its perfect form it is a portion of a society 
definitely separated from the rest of the world by natural 
geographical boundaries, the inhabitants of which have a 
common civilization, common customs, traits of character and 
traditions.” Mr. Israel Zangwill in his Principle of Nationalities 
discusses some of the factors that constitute a nation, viz. unity 
of religion, unity of language, possession of common traditions 
of suffering and of joy. By tradition he means songs, legends, 
stories attached to heroes, etc. “ A nationality,” states 
Durkheim, the Belgian Sociologist, with admirable brevity, 
“ is a group of which the members, for racial or merely historic 
reasons, wish to live under the same laws and form a State.” 
G. P. Gooch, an eminent historian, in his Nationalism dealing 
with some factors that constitute a nation, observes : “ But 
the strongest of all is the identity of political antecedents ; the 
possession of a national history and consequent community of 
recollections ; collective pride and humiliation, pleasures and 
regret, connected with the same incidents in the past.” ^ 

1 Harold J. Laski, Grammar of Politics, pp. 219-20. 

2 Quoted in the Principle of Nationalities by Israel Zangwill, p. 28. 

® G. P. Gooch, Nationalism, p. 7. 



Savarkar on Nation 

All these tenets acknowledged as the authoritative exposi- 
tion of nationalism vindicate Savarkar’s stand that in 
Hindusthan the Hindus are a nation, and other people are 
communities and numerically, therefore, minorities. Savarkar 
observes that “ the ancient and modem history of the Hindus 
is common. They have friends and enemies in common. They 
have faced common dangers and won victories in common. 
One in national despair and one in national hope, the Hindu.^^ 
by an admirable process through assimilation, elimination and 
consolidation are welded together during the aeons of 
common life and common habitat.” Above all, the Hindus art' 
bound together, continues Savarkar, by the dearest lies, most 
sacred and enduring bonds of a common Fatherland and 
common Holyland. Verily the Hindus, states Savarkai’, as a 
people differ most markedly from any other people in the 
world than they differ among themselves. All tests whatever 
of a common country, race, religion, language that go to entitle 
a people to form a nation, entitle the Hindus vdth a greater 
emphasis to that claim. 

Savarkar declares that the festivals and cultural forms of 
the Hindus are common. The Vedic Rishis are their common 
pride, their Grammarians Panini and Patanjali, their poets 
Bhavabhuti and Kalidas, their heroes Shree Ram and Shree 
Krishna, Shiva ji and Pratap, Guru Govind and Banda are a 
source of common inspiration. Like their ancient and sacred 
language, the Sanskrit, states he, their scripts also are 
fashioned on the same basis and the Nagari script has been 
the common vehicle of the sacred writings since centuries in 
the past. 

India is dear to us, further observes Savarkar, because it 
has been and is the home of our Hindu Race, the land which 
has been the cradle of our prophets and heroes, and Gods and 
Godmen. Otherwise, he goes on, land for land, there may be 
many a country, as rich in gold and silver on the face of the 
earth. “River for river, the Mississippi is nearly as good as 
the Ganges and its waters are not altogether bitter. The 
stones, trees and greens in Hindusthan are just as good or 


bad stones and trees and greens of the respective species else- 
where. Hindusthan is a Fatherland and Holyland to us not 
because it is a land entirely unlike any other land in the 
world, but because it is associated with our History and has 
been the home of our forefathers wherein our mothers gave 
us the first suckle at their breast and our fathers cradled us on 
their knees from generation to generation,” asserts he. 

To Savarkar the Hindu na n is an organic growth and no 
paper-make make-.shift. It is noi a mushroom growth. It is not 
a treaty nation. It was not cu t'' order. It is not an outlandish 
make-shift. It has grown out of this soil and has its roots 
struck deep and wide in it. It is not a fiction, he proceeds, 
invented to spite the Moslems or anybody in the world. But 
it is a fact as stupendous and solid as the Himalayas that 
border our North. 

Indian and Hindu Nationalisms 

The Indian National Congress believed and upheld the 
territorial nationalism which they called Indian Nationalism. 
To them a nation meant peoples living on a common land. 
Whoever came to India, the Arabs, the Jews, the Russians, 
the Germans, the Portuguese, the Greeks, they formed a 
nation together with the Hindus, because these new-comers 
also lived in India. “ Congress committed the serious mistake,” 
states Savarkar, “ at its very start of overlooking this 
fundamental, social and political principle that in the forma- 
tion of nations, religious, racial, cultural and historical 
affinities count immensely more than their territorial unity.” 
What they called Indian Nation Savarkar called the Indian 
Stale, because he believed that the Hindus could form a State 
with other minorities. 

Savarkar found nothing objectionable in the ideal of Indian 
Nationalism which was in fact, says he, a noble one suited to 
the Hindu mentality with its synthetic trend, always prone to 
philosophy with a universal urge. It is also true, he believes, 
that the ideal of politics itself ought to be a human State, all 
mankind for its citizens and the earth for its Motherland. 
But is territorial unity the only constituent of a common 
Nationality ? He replies that not territorial unity, but the 


religious, racial and cutural unity is what counts most in the 
formation of a national unit. The idea of territorial 
nationality alone was envisaged by the Congressites, who in 
general preferred to be totally ignorant of Muslim history, 
theology and political trend of mind. Savarkar observes that 
“ Moslems in general and the Indian Moslems in particular 
have not yet grown out the historical stage, of intense 
religiosity and the theological concepts of State. Their 
theological politics divide the human world into two groups 
only — ^the Moslem land and the enemy land. All lands Avhich 
are either inhabited entirely by the Moslems or ruled over 
by the Moslems are Mo.slem lands. To any other land no 
faithful Moslem is allowed to bear any loyalty.” Their Holy- 
land is far off in Arabia. Their mythology and godrnen, idea.s 
and heroes are not the children of this soil. Consequently, 
their names and their outlook smack of foreign origin. Their 
love is divided. Their love for India as their motherland is 
but a handmaid to their love for their Holyland outside India. 
“ The territorial patriots wanted the Hindus to cease to be 
Hindus at least as a national and political unit. Some of them 
actually gloried in disowming themselves as Hindus at all. 
But the Moslems remained Moslems first and Moslems last 
and Indians never ! ” says Savarkar. 

After the fiasco of the Khilafat, the Muslims exploded the 
Congress myth of territorial nationalism by migrating to 
Moslem lands. Greece, Palestine and even Hungary and 
Poland have thousands of Moslems amongst their nationals. 
China has crores of Moslems. And still the country of the 
Poles continues to be Poland, of the Grecians Greece. There 
the Moslems did not dare to distort them, but are quite 
content to distinguish themselves as Polish Moslems or 
Grecian Moslems or Chinese Moslems. But the Indian 
Moslems never identified their aspirations with the national 
aspirations of Hindusthan. Gokhale had realised that the 
‘ seventy millions of Mohammedans were more or less hostile to 
the national aspirations,” * and warned Devi Sarojini Naidu that 
the Hindu-Moslem Unity would never come in their lifetime.® 
Sir Pherozeshah Mehta had warned the British Government 

J Prof. S. R. Parasnis, Namdar Gopal Krishna Gokhale, p. 74. 

2 G. A. Natesan & Co., Sarojini’s Speeches and Writings, p. 26. 


against the unjust Muslim claims.’ Lala Lajpat Rai had fully 
realized the danger of the separatist tendencies of the Muslims 
and Dr. Annie Besant had foretold h. her Future of Indian 
Politics as early as 1922 that the p' m? -y allegiance of Muslims 
was to Islamic countries, not to o ir lotherland,” and warned 
in her memorable words : “ In tl i iking of an Independent 
India, the menace of Muslim ruic las to be considered.- As 
late as 1941, Dr. Ambedkar expr^'.-sed the same kind of grave 
doubt about Moslem allegiance t( India when he said, “ Islam 
can never allow a true Muslim to adopt India as his Mother- 
land and regard a Hindu as his kith and kin.” ■' 

So far as the Hindus are concerned, says Savarkar, there 
can be no distinction nor conflict in the least between their 
commimal and national duties, as the best interest of 
Hindudom are simply identified with the best interests of 
Hindusthan as a whole. The truer a Hindu is to himself as a 
Hindu, holds Savarkar, he must inevitably grow a truer 
national as well. The Hindus are the bedrock on which the 
Indian Independent State could be built. He asserts : “ A 

Hindu patriot worth the name can’t but be an Indian patriot 
as well. To the Hindus Hindusthan being the Fatherland and 
Holyland, the love they bear to Hindusthan is boundless. That 
is why they predominate in the national struggle that is going 
on for the overthrow of the British yoke. Even the buried 
bones in the Andamans would assert this fact.” Savarkar 
further declares that “ we Hindus must have a country of our 
own in the solar system and must continue to flourish there as 
Hindus — descendants of a mighty people.” Hence their 
solidarity, unity and strength should be kept intact. So 
Shuddhi for him has not only a religious, but also a political, 
national and a secular meaning. If the population of the 
Hindus dwindles and the strength of the other faiths out- 
numbers them, there would be a serious threat to the building 
of peace and prosperity, nay, to the very existence of 

Savarkar beUeves in the resurrection of the Hindus, who 
have stood by the graves of empires and civilizations that 

* Sir V. N. Chandavarkar, Presidential Address at Calcutta, p. 6. 

2 George S. Artindale, The Mahratta, dated 22-7-1942. 

2 Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Thoughts on Pakistan, p. 333. 



prospered in other parts of the world. He believes that there 
is some such virility and staying power inherent in the Hindu 
race as find few parallels in the annals of the world. There- 
fore, he observes, that amidst the terrible struggle for 
existence, which is incessantly going on in (he creation, 
survival of the fittest is the rule. The Hindus survived the 
national cataclysms because they were found the fittest to 

Justifiable Nationalism 

To those who say that the concept of the Hindu Nation is 
parochial, Savarkar asks whether or not the concept of an 
Indian Nation itself is parochial in relation to the Human 
State. “ Why are you an Indian patriot and not an Abyssinian 
one, and go there and fight for their freedom ? Some 
Englishmen born in this territory are and may continue to be 
Indians. Can, therefore, the overlordship of these Anglo- 
Indians be a Swaraj to the Hindus ? Aurangzeb and Tipu, 
too, were hereditary Indians. Did that mean that the rule 
of Aurangzeb or Tipu was a Swaraj to the Hindus ? No ! 
Although they were territorial Indians, they proved to be the 
worst enemies of Hindudom, and therefore a Pratap, a Shivaji, 
a Guru Govindsingh or the Peshwas had to fight against the 
Muslim domination and establish a real Hindu Swaraj,” thus 
argues Savarkar. 

“ In fact, the Earth,” Savarkar observes, “ is our Motherland 
and Humanity our nation. Nay, the Vedantist goes further 
and claims this Universe for his country and all manifestations 
from the stars to the stone his own self. O brothers, the 
limits of the Universe — ^there the frontiers of my country lie, 
says Tukaram. Why then take the Himalayas to cut us off 
from the rest of mankind, and deem ourselves as a separate 
nation as Indians and fight with every other country and the 
English in particular who after all are our brothers-in- 
humanity ! ” The fact, says Savarkar, is that all patriotism 
is more or less parochial and communal and is responsible 
for the dreadful wars throughout human history. 

But according to Savarkar there is an acid test for 
distinguishing a justifiable nationalism or communalism from 


an unjust and harmful one. So long as, states he, a nation 
or a community tries to defend the just and fundamental rights 
of a particular nation or a people or a community against Ihe 
unjust and overbearing aggression of other human aggregates 
and does not infringe on the equal and just rights and liberties 
of others, it cannot bo condemned or looked down upon simply 
because the nation or community is a smaller aggregate in 
itself. But when a nation or community treads upon the 
rights of .sister nations or co iivunities, he continues, and 
aggressively stands in the wr. o' forming larger associations 
and aggregates of mankind, its nationalism or communalism 
becomes condemnable from a human point of view. 

nationalism, says Savarkar, when it is aggressive ia as 
immoral in human relations as is communalism w’hen it tries 
to suppress the equitable rights of other communities and tries 
to usurp all to itself. But when Communalism is only 
defensive, it is as justifiable and human as an equitable 
nationalism itself. The Hindus, Savarkar reiterates, do not 
aim at usurping what belongs to others. They do not want 
any special privileges, but they will not allow themselves to 
be exploited. 

Muslims and Minorities 

Savarkar was for Hindu-Muslim unity and contemplated a 
non-seclarian State for India. He held that it w'as as suicidal 
as ridiculous to borrow hostilities and combats of the past 
only to fight them out into the present, because Shivaji and 
Aurangzeb had done it.^ But he justified the past struggle 
of the Rajputs, the Sikhs and the Mahrattas to overthrow the 
Mogul rule as he considered, “ as long as the Muslims lived 
in India in the capacity of alien rulers, so long, to be willing to 
live with them as brothers was to acknowledge national 
weakness.” ^ So he was never prepared to accept the Muslim 
domination or their demand for vivisection of India. He 
contemplated that kind of unity which would go to create an 
Indian State in which all citizens irrespective of caste, creed, 
race or religion were treated all alike on the principle of ‘ one 

1 Savarkar, Foreword to Hindu-Pad-Padshahi. 

2 Savarkar, The Indian War of Independence of 1857, p. 75. 


rnan one vote.’ In this view Savarkar was not far away from 
the realistic approach of Gokhale, Pherozeshah Mehta, 
Dr. Annie Besant or Dr. Ambedkar. But Savarkar did not 
want the majority to go on its knees to the recalcitrant 
minority. Therefore, he considered that seeking unity on the 
part of the majority was losing it. To those who believed that 
the third party, i.e. the British Government, was the hindrance 
to the Hindu-Muslim unity, he asked, “Who set Muhammad 
Bin Quasim, Mahomed of Gazni and Aurangzeb to lay India 
waste with a mad fanatic fury ? Were they the creations of 
the third party, the Britishers ? ” He warned the Hindu- 
Muslim unity-hankerers that the real question at the root of 
the Muslim opposition, displeasure and problem was not a 
word here or a song there. The Muslims cherished secret 
designs to disintegrate the Indian State and to create a State 
within a State or subvert the national State and m the end 
wanted to brand the Fatherland of the Hindus and other 
non-Muslim sections in Hindusthan with the stamp of 
self-humiliation and Muslim domination. He, therefore, 
denounced this attitude and declared to the non-Hindus and 
especially to the Muslims : “ If you come, with you ; if you 

don’t, without you and if you oppose, in spite of you, the 
Hindus will continue to fight for their national freedom as 
best as they can.” 

Savarkar further explained his attitude towards the 
minorities in general. The Parsees, he stated, amongst the 
other minorities were by race, religion, language and culture 
most akin to the Hindus. They had been loyal to India and 
had made her their only home. They had produced some of 
the best Indian patriots and revolutionaries like Dadabhai 
Naoroji and Madame Cama. He, therefore, said that the 
Parsees would be incorporated into the common Indian State 
with perfect equal rights and trust. 

The Christian minority, Savarkar observed, was civil, had 
no extra-territorial political designs against India, was not 
linguistically and culturally averse to the Hindus and therefore 
could be politically assimilated with the Hindus. Only 
conversion, he added, should be made voluntary and on a 
legitimate basis. 

As to the Jews in India, he said, they were too few and 


had given no political or cultural troubles and were not in the 
main a proselytizing people. They willed, he continued, to 
be friendly towards the Hindus who had sheltered them when 
homeless, and could be easily assimilated in a common Indian 

^*^us the problem of minorities was not at all the problem 
of all minorities, but the problem of only one minority— the 
Muslim minority. 

And so tar as tbe Muslim community was concerned, 
Savarkar said, every equitable treatment which an Indian 
citizen could claim on an equality of footing with others in 
respect of language, religion and culture, could be given to 
them, but they should be held as suspicious friends for at 
least some years to come for their extra-territorial designs. 

Nationalism and Humanism 

Savarkar believes that is but an inevitable step 
towards the goal of Humanity and Pan-Human State. Thirty 
years ago he wrote that he believed in a universal State 
embracing all mankind and where all men and women would 
he citizens working for the fruits of the earth, the sun and the 
land which constitute the real Motherland and Fatherland of 
Man. In fact he said, the world was our country and humanity 
was our religion and patriotism. In his youth he wrote that 
history was to be studied to weld humanity into a World 
Commonwealth. But while the process and struggle, he said, 
was going on for welding humanity into a World Common- 
wealth, the weak people had gone under and the fittest had 
survived. “ Therefore,” he warned the Hindus, “ before you 
make out a case for unity, you must make out a case for 
survival as a national or a social human unit.” ’ This made 
him devote all his energy to Hindu Nationalism as he believed 
that Hindu consolidation was a step inevitable in the realiza- 
tion of the ideal of a Human State or a World Common- 
wealth. Savarkar stressed this point in a recent letter to Guy 
A. Aldred, editor of The Word, Glasgow. He said : “ I hold 
that although Mankind must march on through nationalism 
and federalism, through larger and larger statal incorporations 

' Savarkar, Foreword to Hindu-Pad-Padshahi. 


to their ultimate political goal, yet t&e goal is not and cannot 
be nationalism but Humanism, neither more nor less. The 
ideal of all Political Science and Art must be a Human State.” 
“ The Earth is our real Motherland, mankind our Nation and 
a Human Government based on equality of rights and dutie.s 
is or ought to be our ultimate political goal.” This was a 
message sent by Savarkar to the World Fellowship Institution 
at Conway, which had chosen him for presiding over their 
Annual Session in 1944, which he could not do for reasons of 

Thus being a realist and rationalist Savarkar warned the 
Hindus in these words ; “ As long as the law of evolution that 
lays down the iron command ‘ that the weak and the cowards 
are always the victims of the strong and the courageous ’ is too 
pensistent and dangerously imminent to be categorically 
denied by the law of righteousness whose mottos shine 
brilliantly and beautifully — ^but as the stars in the heavens 
do, — so long the banner of nationality will refuse to be 
replaced by that of Universality.^ Savarkar declared in 
unmistakable terms that as long as the whole world was red 
in tooth and claw and the national and racial distinction so 
.'Strong as to make men brutal, so long if India had to live at 
all a life whether spiritual or political according to the light 
of her soul, she must not lose the strength born of national 
and racial cohesion.- Therefore, Savarkar again emphasizes : 

“ As long as every other ‘ Ism ’ has not disowned its special 
dogmas, whichever tend into dangerous war cries, so long no 
cultural or national unit can afford to loosen the bonds, 
especially those of a common name and a common banner that 
are the mighty sources of organic cohesion and strength.”* 
He substantiated his point by citing the failure of Buddhism. 
Though a universal religion without any the least ulterior 
end in view, it could not, Savarkar observed, eradicate the 
seeds of animal passions or of political ambitions. He, there- 
fore, asked the Hindus to be on their guard against the Mumbo 
Jpmbo of Universalism and non-violence which crush the 

1 Savarkar Hinduiva, p. 30. 

2 /bid., p. 19. 

2 Ibid., p. 67. 


faculty even of resisting sin, crime and aggression, nay, kill 
the very sense of wrong and the power of resistance. 

Savarkar n ylfs the Hindus to take Universalism cautiously. 

He observes : “ What was the use of a universal faith that 
instead of soothing the ferociousness and brutal egoism oi the 
nations only excited their lust by leaving India detencelesa 
and unsuspecting?”* Nevertheless, describing the glory 
and grandeur of Buddha, he .says: “But as it is. thou art 
ours as truly as Sbri Rama or '^bri Krishna, or Shri Mahaveer 
had been, and as thy words were but echoes of yearnings of 
our sou\, t\vy vision^:, dreams oi our taco ; eveiv 

so, i£ ever ibe law ot rigliteousuess rules triumplrant on ihls 
our human plane, then thou wilt find that the land t\va\ cradled 
thee, and the people that nursed thee, will have contributed 
most to bring about the consummation if indeed the fact of 
having contributed thee has not proved that much already.'” - 
What heaps of books and lakhs of preachings on Buddlia 
could not expound, Savai'kar did in a paragraph ! 

So from the point of nationalism, humanism and univer- 
salism, Savarkar gives his immortal message to the Land of 
Karmay the land of the Vedas, the land of Rama, Krishna, 
Buddha, Mahaveer, Vikramaditya, Shalivahan, Pratap, 
Shivaji, Guru Govindsingh, Banda, Dayananda, Vivekananda 
and Tilak : “ Therefore, ye, O Hindus, consolidate and 

strengthen Hindu nationality : not to give wanton offence to 
any of our non-Hindu compatriots, in fact to any one in the 
world but in just and urgent self-defence of our race and land ; 
to render it impossible for others to betray her or to subject 
her to unprovoked attacks by any of those ‘ Pan-isms ’ that 
are struggling forth from continent to continent ! ’’ “ As long 
as other communities in India or in the world,” Savarkar 
concludes, “ are not respectively planning India first or 
mankind first, but all are busy in organising offensive and 
defensive alliances and combinations on entirely narrow racial 
or religious or national basis, so long, O Hindus, strengthen if 
you can those subtle bonds that like nerve-threads bind you 
in One Organic Social Being. Those of you who in a suicidal 
fit try to cut off the most vital of those ties and dare to disown 
the name Hindu will find to their cost that in doing so they 

' Savarkar, Hindutva^ p. 21. - Ibid., p. 30. 


have cut themselves off from the very source of our racial 
Life and Strength.” * 

“Thirty crores of people with India for their basis of 
operation, for their Fatherland and for their Holyland, with 
such a history behind them, bound together by ties of a 
common blood and common culture, can dictate their terms 
to the whole world. A day will come when mankind will 
have to face the force. Equally certain it is that whenever 
the Hindus come to hold such a position whence they could 
dictate terms to the whole world — those terms cannot be very 
different from the terms which the Gita dictates or the 
Buddha lays down. A Hindu is most intensely so, when he 
ceases to be a Hindu ; and with a Shankar claims the whole 
earth for a Benares — Varanasi Medini — or with a Tukaram 
explains ‘ my country ? Oh brothers, the limits of the 
Universe — there the frontiers of my covmtry lie,' ” sings the 
vedic soul of Savarkar.^ 


Relative Non-Violence and Absolute 

The peace and prosperity of mankind is the central aim of 
Savarkarian philosophy. To Savarkar what is conducive and 
whatever contributes to the human good is moral, justifiable, 
desirable, and just. To it relative non-violence is a virtue 
and absolute non-violence is not only sinful, but immoral. 
Savarkar, therefore, hates the monomaniacal principal of 
absolute non-violence. A besmeared with a deer’s 
blood suckling her cubs at her breast is his nature’s picture. 
He believes that man could not have saved himself from 
complete extinction had he not succeeded in adding strength of 
artificial arms to his natural arms. He tells you that the lesson 
is branded on every page of history down to the latest page 
that nations which, other things equal, are superior in military 
strength are bound to survive, flourish and dominate while 
those which are militarily altogether weak are politically 
subjected or cease to exist at all. Who will doubt this truth ? 

I Savarkar, Hindutva, pp. 116-17. 

^Ibid., p. 117. 


In fact, says Dr. Dean Inge, history is to remain a dismal 
oniugation of the verb ‘ to eat ' in the active and passive. 
Hindu soul aims at equality not only between human beings, 
u,t abo equality amongst all beings. Therefore HindusVban 
nreached and practised that strained water be given for horses 
InA even corn-throwing centres be opened in the oceans so 
that big fishes should not swallow little ones. But while 
Buddhism was at its meridian, the Huns and the Shaks came 

down like an avalanche upon India and trampled under their 
feet Hindu families, their thrones, and their Gods. Pointing this 
to the Hindus, Savarkar tells them that the Holy land of 
their love was devastated and sacked by hoards of barbarians, 
so inferior to them in language, religion, philosophy, mercy 
and all the soft and human attributes of man and God ; — ^but 
superior to them in strength alone — strength that summed up 
its creed, in two words — Fire and Sword ! In trying to kill 
killing India got killed and at last found that palm leaves at 
times are too fragile for steel. But during the days of 
Vikramaditya and Shalivahan valour accomplished what 
formulas had failed to do. Therefore, Savarkar concludes : “ We 
denounce the doctrine of absolute non-violence not because we 
are less saintly, but because we are more sensible ! ” The 
truth of this doctrine was demonstrated later on in practice 
by the protagonists of the doctrine of non-violence in the 
measures adopted by them in Hyderabad, Kashmir and 

Savarkar is one with the greatest of world thinkers in this 
view. The controversy between the cult of absolute 
non-violence and the principle of relative non-violence is 
age-long. All the saviours of humanity have supported the 
principle of relative non-violence. In Hindusthan, Manu’s 
immortal epigraphic command that an aggressor must be 
killed instantly, stands out distinctly. The great Shakespeare 
lays down that arms are fair when the intent of bearing them 
is just. Thomas Paine denounced the Quaker cult during 
the American War of Independence. “ I am thus for a 
Quaker,” says Paine, “ that I would gladly agree with all the 
world to lay aside the use of arms and settle matters by 
negotiation, but unless the whole world wilb, the matter ends 
and I take my musket and thank heaven He has put it in my 


power. . . . We live not in a world of angels. The reign of 
satan is not ended, neither can we expect to be defended by 
miracles.” At another time he declai*es : “ Wherefore, if you 
really preach from conscience and mean not to make 
a political hobby-horse of your religion, convince the world 
thereby proclaiming your doctrine to our enemies for they 
likewise bear arms. . . . Preach repentance to your king and 
warn him of eternal ruin ... ye would not spend your 
invectives against the injured and insulted only, but like 
faithful ministers, cry aloud and spare none.” ^ President 
Masaryk asked Tolstoy, the Russian apo.stle of the doctrine of 
absolute non-violence, why should a peace-loving man void 
of evil intent be slain and not the man of evil purpose who 
kills. SavarkiU' in his immortal work The Indiav War of 
Independence of 1857, observes : “ When Humanity will reach 
the goal of universal justice, of ultimate beatitude, when the 
millennium preached by the incarnations, by the Messiahs, 
and by religious preachers will be an accomplished fact on 
earth, when the resignation taught by Christ in the glorious 
words ‘ Whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to 
him the other also ’ will be impracticable — ^because, there will 
be no one to hit on the right cheek, in such a divine age, if 
anyone revolts, if anyone sheds a drop of blood, if anyone even 
whispers the word revenge, then at once, the sinner by this 
act, by his very utterance, would be eternally damned. For, 
when truth reigns in every heart, revolt must be a heinous 
sin. When everyone abhors killing, to shed a drop of blood 
must be a sin.” - 

Savarkar continues in his rational approach to this problem : 
“ But so long as that divine age has not arrived, so long as 
the highly auspicious end remains only in the lines of saintly 
poets and in the prophecies of the divinely inspired, and so 
long as, even to nxake that state of universal justice possible, 
the human mind has to be busy eradicating sinful and 
aggressive tendencies, so long, rebellion, bloodshed and 
revenge cannot be purely sinful.” 

Savarkar believes that revolt, bloodshed and revenge have 

1 Watts & Co., Some of Paine's Masterpieces, pp. 35-36. 

2 Savarkar, The Indian War of Independence of 1857, p. 273. 

* Ibid. 


often been instruments created by nature to root out injustice 
and introduce an era of justice. He proceeds : “ And when 
justice uses these terrible means for her salvation, the blame 
of it does not lie on justice but on the preceding cruel injustice, 
the power and insolence of which called forth the means. We 
do not hold the justice which gives the death sentence 
responsible for bloodshed, but rather the injustice which is 
taken to the gallows.'’ Savarkar brilliantly concludes : 
“ Therefore the sword of Brutus is holy. Therefore, the 
Waghanakh of Shivaji is sacred. Therefore, the bloodshed in 
the revolutions in Italy is of fair fame. Therefore, the 
beheading of Charles I is a just deed. Therefore, the arrow 
of William Tell is divine. And the sin of brutality falls heavily 
on the heads of those who committed the provoking 
injustice.” ^ 

Savarkar also believes that had the world no fear of revolt, 
bloodshed and revenge, the earth would have bent under the 
devil-dance of unchecked robbery and oppression. “ If 
oppression were to be secure,” he observes, ‘'from the fear 
that Nature would, sooner or later, create the avenger of 
temporary injustice, the whole world would have swarmed 
today with Tsars and Robbers ! But because every Hiranya- 
Kashipu has his Narasimha ; because every Dushshasana has 
his Bheema ; because every evil-doer has his avenger, there is 
still some hope in the heart of the world that injustice cannot 
last.” - 

But in India when Savarkar was passing his days in 
internment the political leaders had made a hobby-horse of 
the doctrine of non-violence and offered their advice to the 
insulted, enslaved and the butchered Hindus, supporting 
indirectly Nietzsche who believed that the resignation of 
Christianity was meant for the defeated and the down- 
trodden ! In no enslaved country humbled to dust, the 
doctrine of absolute non-violence has ever been discussed in 
so dry, dull, futile and longwinded a manner as has been done 
on the advent of Gandhian leadership in India ! This futile 
discussion and reiteration of this doctrine bankrupted the wit, 
baffled the brains, benumbed the revolutionary fervour, and 

1 Savarkar, The Indian War of Independence of 1857 y p. 274. 

2 Ibid. 



seduced the hearts of the Hindus, softening their limbs and 
stiffening the bones of the enemies ! Leader after leader blew 
hot and cold in the same breath while dealing with this 
doctrine. Some clianged sides, abjui-ed their faith, revoked 
their statements, and condenmed their former patriotism and 
even previous life. Devi Sarojini Naidu, who sang of the 
Gandhian doctrine in her later life, had shouted from the 
Lucknow Session of the Indian National Congress in 1916 : 
“ It may seem a kind of paradox that I should be asked to 
raise my voice on behalf of the disinherited manhood of the 
country, but it is suitable that I, who represent the other sex, 
that is, the mothers of the men whom we wish to make men 
and not emasculated machines, should raise a voice on behalf 
of the future mothers of India to demand that the birth-right 
of their sons should be given back to them, so that tomorrow’s 
India may be once more worthy of its yesterday. . . . The 
refusal of the privilege, that gifted privilege and inalienable 
right to carry arms, is to insult the very core of their valiant 
manhood ! ” ' 

Such was the realistic tone of politics of Tilak’s India. But 
these very leaders and patriots like Sarojini Naidu became 
parrots and perched on the cult of absolute non-violence 
of Gandhism and made a paradox of their politics by thrusting 
down the throats of youths the opiates of absolute non-violence 
in season and out of season. The effect was tremendous and 
terrible. For a time the revolutionary urge cooled down in 
the country to a great extent, and people lost even the sense 
of resisting crime and aggression and at last the emasculated 
Hindu nation feU an easy prey to the organized and furious 
Muslim violence, and was torn to pieces ! The lambs resolved 
to lead a vegetable life, but the wolves were not concerned 
with their pious resolution ! It was Savarkar alone who 
raised his mighty voice against this suicidal doctrine and 
applied most of his herculean energy to the task of warning 
the leaders and the Hi|ndus against the impending holocaust 
that was soon to overtake them. Savarkar’s was a peculiar 
Maharashtrian approach. Even the great Maharashtrian 
saint, Tukaram, sings in a fit of practical righteousness : “ Kill 

• G. A. Nate^n & Co., Sarojini^s Speeches & WriHngSt p. 7B. 


the scorpion, the despiser of the worship of God, if it enters 
the shrine ; give tit for tat. No mercy to the wicked.” 

Revolutions: Why and How 

Savarkar’s thoughts on the how and why of a revolution are 

“ A revolution is evolution in leaps.” 

“ Revolutions are not r. alated by fixed laws. They are 
not accurately working rs d ines like clocks and watches. 
They have their own way o. marching. They can only be 
regulated by a general principle ; but they brusli away minor 
rules by their very shock. Revolution has only one watch- 
word — ‘ Dash on ! ’ All sorts of new and unthought of 
circumstances might arise during its progress ; but one must 
stop, one must overcome them and press forward.” * 

“ There is no other life-killing poison to a revolution than 
indecision. The sooner and the more sudden the spreading 
of a revolution, the greater are its chances of success. If 
delay is made after the first start and breathing time is given, 
the enemy gets time to guard himself ; those who rise 
prematurely lose confidence, when they see no one joining 
them ; and a clever enemy, profiting by the past, puts obstacles 
in the way of those who want to rise later. Therefore, to give 
the enemy time between the first rising and the spreading of 
a revolution is always harmful to the revolution.” “ 

“ The destruction of individuals, of society and of Kingdoms 
is caused as much by anarchy as by foreign rule, as much by 
the absence of any bond as the presence of cruel bonds. If 
any revolution forgets this sociological truth it generally kiUs 
itseK in the end. . . . That revolution which destroys injustice 
and oppression is holy. But when a revolution roots out one 
kind of injustice and oppression and plants, at the same 
moment, the seeds of another kind, it becomes at once unholy 
and the seeds of destruction accompanying that sin soon put 
an end to its life. . . . The moment the foreign power is 
destroyed, in order to guard the country from the evils of 
anarchy, a constitution liked by the majority of the people 

1 Savarkar, The Indian War of Independence of 1857, p. 159. 

2/Wd., p. 128. 


should be at once established and that constitution should be 
obeyed with reverence by all. In short, the rule should be 
revolution outside and constitution within, chaos outside and 
cosmos within, sword outside and law within.” ' 

On Foreign Policy 

Savarkarism advocates that Indian foreign policy should 
hinge on a very practical stand, on the principle of serving, 
safeguarding and promoting the national self-interest, 
Savarkar avers that it should not depend on isms. The sound 
principle, he observes, in politics lays it down that no form 
of Government or political ‘ ism ’ is absolutely good or bad 
under all circumstances to all people alike. He, therefore, 
thinks it inadvisable to dictate to Germany, Japan, Italy or 
Russia to choose a particular form of Government. Democracy 
itself demands that the will of the people must prevail in 
choosing their own Government. Naturally he holds that all 
those nations that are friendly or likely to be helpful to the 
Hindu Nation would be friends and allies of Hindusthan. To 
him, no academic and empty slogans of Democracy or Nazism 
or Fascism can be the guiding principle to India’s foreign 
policy. He says we should never hate or love Fascists or 
Bolshevists or Democrats simply on the ground of any 
theoretical or bookish reasons. There was no reason, he said, 
to suppose that Hitler was a human monster because he passed 
off as a Nazi or Churchill was a demi-God because he 
called himself a democrat. Savarkar wants Hindusthan to 
maintain a policy of neutrality towards all nations in the world 
in respect of their internal affairs or mutual relations with 
each other. 

All nations look first to their own security and prosperity 
while dealing with international problems. They make or 
unmake pacts with this end alone in view. Let alone the 
history of pacts and treaties which Britain made with Indian 
Princes, what great nations have stood by their pledges ? By 
an agreement the U.S.A. was pledged to protect Korea. In 
1905 Japan swallowed Korea and U.S.A. was the first nation 
to recognize the Korean conquest ! France and Columbia 

^ Savarkar, The Indian War of Independence of J857, pp. 348*49. 


know how U.S.A. stood by the pledges given and agreements 
made wi.h them. The world knows the fate of Nine-Party 
Treaty of Brussels to stop Japanese Aggression. They orated 
and adjourned. The history of the Treaty of Rapallo, the 
Treaty of Berlin, the Treaty of 1933 and the dramatic end of 
the Non-Aggression Pact of 1939 between Germany and 
Russia is stunning and shocking. Why, in the last week of 
December 1948. President Truman declared that contracts 
were not sacred to Soviv' Government. Savai'kar believes 
that a powerful centralised -tate of Hindusthan will contribute 
effectively to build up an endurable and enduring peace for 
the world because her role is neither selfish nor aggressive. 

Economic Problem 

As regards the economic problem, Savarkar’s approach is 
at once rationalistic and nationalistic. Savarkar is not an 
orthodox Hindu, so also he is not a believer in mechanical and 
orthodox socialism. He is not one with Manu or Marx. 
According to him man has got a stomach, but stomach is not 
the man. The Cliristian maxim that man does not live by 
bread alone appeals to him. Savarkarism believes in the 
spiritual truth that racial, cultural, national and several other 
aspects also go to constitute the human nature. Therefore, 
he believes that the attempt to interpret all human history 
and human activities in economical terms alone is altogether 
one-sided and amounts to maintaining that man has no other 
urge in him to live but hunger. 

Savarkarian outlook on life holds that besides hunger — the 
problem of bread — ^man has other appetites as fundamental as 
that, sensual, intellectual, sentimental, some national, some 
acquired, some personal, some social, and his Being is 
complex ; so also is his history. Savarkarism considers that 
the solution suggested to the effect that the economical 
community of interests provides the only and the best solvent 
of all religious, racial, national and other antipathies that 
divide mankind in the world is as superficial as simple. The 
fact that in Europe, Savarkar asserts, the very races and 
nations wherein the prophets of this school arose and preached 
their doctrines and where giant efforts were made to 


revolutionize all human institutions and recast them into this 
economical mould alone ; religious, racial and national 
differences have been assuming formidable proportions and 
have been persisting to assert themselves in Germany, Italy, 
France, Poland, England, Spain, etc. in spite of centuries of 
the most intense propaganda to insist on an economical 
community of interest, is enough to prove that you cannot 
altogether eliminate all religious, racial or national factors 
at a stroke, at a thought ! ^ 

Those who advance the easy argument ‘ If but you persuade 
all to unite on the economic plane and to forget every other 
superstitious difference as the racial, cultural, etc. ’ forget 
themselves, argues Savarkar, that the very ‘ but ’ in their 
argument rebuts the practical utility at any rate, apart from 
its theoretical soundness. Consequently he warns the Hindus 
that they must in no case delude themselves with the belief 
that the economic programme alone will ever suffice to solve 
all cultural, racial and national dangers that threaten them 
throughout India. Taking into consideration the special 
circumstances obtaining in India and the stage of social 
progress, he thinks, the only school of economics which will 
suit our requirements in the immediate future is the school of 
Nationalistic economy and styles his economic policy as the 
national co-ordination of class interests. This immediate 
programme of national co-ordination of class interests is being 
practised in free India in foto by leaders like Pandit Nehru 
who were extolled to the skies for many years in the past as 
* super ’ Socialists. What Savarkar defined in 1939, Pandit 
Nehru and others realized in 1948 ! 


Savarkar’s India 

In short, under the set of circumstances obtaining in India 
and in the context of the present world set-up, the following 
ideal is to be realized in the immediate future. 

Note . — For quotations cited above without references, please refer to 
Savarkar’s Presidential Addresses at Karnavati, Nagpur, 
Calcutta and Madura. 


(a) In Savarkar's India all citizens would have equal rights 
and obligations irrespective of caste, creed, race or 
religion provided they avow and owe an exclusive and 
devoted allegiance to the State. 

(b) All minorities would be given effective safeguards to 
protect their language, religion, culture, etc. but none 
of them would be allowed to create a State within a 
State or to encroach upon the legitimate rights of the 

(c) The fundamental rights of freedom of speech, freedom 
of conscience, of worship, of association, etc. would be 
enjoyed by all citizens alike ; whatever restrictions 
would be imposed on them in the interest of the public 
peace and order or national emergency would not be 
based on any religious or racial considerations alone 
but common national grounds. 

(d) One man one vote would be the general rule irrespec- 
tive of caste, creed, race, or religion. 

(e) There would be joint electorates. 

(f) Services would go by merit alone. 

(g) Primary Education will be free and compulsory. 

(h) Every minority would have separate schools to 
train their children in their own tongue ; their religious 
and cultural institutions would receive Government 
help also for these, but always in proportion to the taxes 
they pay into the common exchequer. 

(i) The residuary powers would be vested in the Central 

(j) Nagari would be the national script, Hindi, the Lingua 
Franca and Sanskrit, the Devabhasha of India. 


(1) People would first of all welcome the machine age. The 
handicrafts would, of course, have their place and 
encouragement. But national production would be on 
the biggest possible machine scale. 


(2) As the peasantry and the working classes form literally 
the chief source of national wealth, health, and strength, 
every effort would be made to reinvigorate them and 
the villages which are their cradle. Peasants and 
labourers would be enabled to have their share 
in the distribution of wealth to such an extent as 
would enable them not only to live with a bare margin 
of existence, but with the average scale of a comfortable 
life free from wants. Nevertheless, it would be 
remembered that they being a part and parcel of the 
nation as a whole, would share common obligations and 
re.sponsibilities and therefore would only receive their 
share in such a way as would be consistent with the 
general development and security of national industry, 
manufacture and wealth in general. 

(3) As the national capital is under the present circum- 
stances mainly individual and indispensable for the 
development of National Industries and Manufactures, 
it would also receive due encouragement and 

(4) The interests of both the capital and labour would bo 
sub-ordinafed to the requirements of the nation as a 

(5) If an industry is flourishing, the profits would be shared 
in a large portion by the labourers. But on the contrary, 
if it is a losing concern, not only the capitalist, but to a 
certain extent even the labourers would have to remain 
satisfied with diminishing returns so that the National 
Industry as such would not altogether be undermined 
by the over -bearing attitude of the selfish class interests 
of either the capitalists or the workers. 

(6) Every step would be taken by the State to protect 
national industries against foreign competition. 

(7) The key industries or manufactures and such other 
items would be altogether nationalised if the National 
Government could afford to do so and could conduct 
them more efficiently than private enterprise. 

(8) The same principle would apply to agriculture. Govern- 
ment would take over the land and introduce State 


culti'' ation if it could serve to train up the peasant 
class as a whole with the use of big machines and would 
cultivate on a large and scientific scale. 

(9) All strikes and lockouts which are obviously meant or 
inevitably tend to undermine and cripple National 
Industries or production in general or are calculated to 
weaken the economic strength of the nation as a whole 
would be referred to State arbitration and settled or in 
serious cases quelled 

(10) Private property would be in general held inviolate. In 
no ease there would be on the part of the State any 
expropriation of such properly without reasonable 

Thus Savarkar's India would be a democratic State in 
which the countrymen belonging to dilTcrent religions, sects 
or races would be treated with ijerfect equality and none 
would be allowed to dominate others or would be deprived 
of his just and equal rights of free citizenship, so long as 
every one discharges the common obligation which one owes 
to the State as a whole. 

Hindusthan, the Motherland and Holyland of the Hindus, 
from the Indus to the Seas would be an organic undivided 
State. The appellation of this Bhai'at Bhooini would remain 
as Bharat or Hindusthan. 

In Savarkar’s India none would dare convert Hindus by 
fraud or force. Everywhere the Indians would be respected 
as citizens of a great nation. In that India relative non-violence 
would be regarded as virtuous. 

The Hindus would be a castelcss society, a consolidated, 
modernised and up-to-date nation. Their marriage customs 
would be secularised and voluntary inter-caste marriages 
would be freely performed. Hindu corpses would be burnt 
with electricity. 

In Savarkar’s India science would lead all material progress 
and things, and would annihilate superstitions There would 
be a total liquidation of landlordism. All the land would 
belong to the State by and by. All key industries would be 
nationalized. Agriculture would be mechanized. India would 


be self-sufficient in respect of food, clothes, shelter, and 

Savarkar’s India would have unbounded faith in a World 
Commonwealth as his political philosophy conceives that the 
Eai’th is the Common Motherland and Humanism the 
patriotism of man, but his India would not go under during 
the process which leads to the welding of Humanity into a 
World Commonwealth. In international politics Savarkar’s 
India would help to build world peace and prosperity. 


Differences with the Congress 


Owing to their stupendous ignorance of and a wrong 
approach to the Moslem problem, the Congress leaders 
betrayed a woeful lack of self-confidence in the conduct of 
the national struggle. This ultimately discredited the prestige 
and patriotism of the Hindus, undermined the pov/er of the 
national majority, and mortgaged the destiny of the country 
to the anti-national forces. 

Savarkar’s insight perceived this growing danger from the 
designs of the awakened Muslim mind. He knew that Muslim 
opposition to the national aspirations was not confined to a 
song here or a piece of music there. According to him there 
was a fundamental difference in their outlook on life and 
literature and in their aspirations for the governance of 
Hindusthan as a nation. Therefore the first thing Savarkar 
did was to strive to bring into operation the Federal part of 
the 1935 Act, and frustrate the Muslim designs. Though the 
Federal part of this Act, he said, handed over no real power 
especially in the matter of Military and Foreign policy to the 
representatives of the people, it offered an opportunity for the 
realization of national unification of the States and other 
parts under the British occupation into an organized and 
corporate whole. But partly being not sure of the party 
domination at the Centre, and partly being afraid of the 
opposition led in the field by the youthful left-wing forged by 
President Subhas Bose, the Congress High Command 
bypassed the issue of Federation, Not because there was no 
promise for immediate independence that the Congress did 
not accept the Federation. The Congress could have fought 
here, too, to undo the unsatisfactory portion of the Federation. 

A shrewd and practical politician as he was, Mr. Jinnah 
feared that if the Federation came into operation, it would 
weld India into a unified and united State under which the 


separatist designs of the Muslims would be totally crushed. 
Hence he condemned the Federation Scheme as ‘thoroughly 
rotten, fundamentally bad and totally unacceptable ’ ' to the 
Muslims. In fact, this fear of Jinnah fully justified Savarkar, 
Bhai Parmananda and Dr. Moonje in their pro-Federation 
stand which was conducive to national solidarity. Had the accepted the Federal part of the Government of 
India Act of 1935, it would have made the Central Government 
an irresistible and irremovable power that would have been 
the death-warrant of the separatist Muslim ambitions, and 
would have muzzled the four or five Muslim-ruled rebellious 
provinces into complete subordination. But short-sighted, 
irrational and irresolute as its stand was, the lost 
a unique opportunity to consolidate and strengthen the 
integrity of India. 

About this time World War II broke out. The Federation 
Scheme was suspended. The Congress party gave up power 
in all seven provinces, went into wilderness demanding the 
war and peace aims of the British Government, and launched 
an individual Civil Disobedience Movement. Mr. Jinnah 
rejoiced at this and declared in his Presidential Address at 
the Annual Session of the Muslim League at Madras with 
great joy ; “ After the war had broken out the first good news, 
along with other bad news that we got, was the declaration 
of the Viceroy that His Majesty’s Government are pleased to 
suspend the All-India Federation Scheme embodied in the 
Government of India Act, 1935 (cheers). . . . India’s future 
constitution will be considered de novo, including the policy 
and the plan on which the Government of India Act, 1935, was 
based. That was no doubt a great relief, because it was 
against that part of the Act that Muslim India was fighting 
from the very commencement.” ” 

When the Congressmen gave up ministries, the Legislatures 
of the Muslim majority provinces had hardly any Muslim 
League members. But thanks to the jail-seeking policy of the 
Congress party, Mr. Jinnah was given sufficient time to 
consolidate his position and with what little strength he had 
in those provinces at his command, he soon established League 

’ Z. A. Suleri, My Leader, p. 93. 

- Ibid., p. 99. 


Ministries in five provinces. These Ministries proved a 
stepping-stone to his future plans nd policies. The end of the 
rule of the Congress party in thi . even provinces wa.s hailed 
by Muslims all over India as tl * Jay of Deliverance. Their 
Pirpur Committee’s report lev*, led heinous charges against 
the Congress party. The Congress leaders on their part 
produced certificates of their • conduct from the British 
Governors. On top of it all, dr Jinnah continually voiced 
that “ A parliamentary system ba^ed on the majority principle 
must inevitably mean the rule of the major nation. . . . 
Western Democracy was totally unsuited for India and 
its imposition would be resisted by the Mussalmans.” ‘ The 
Mu-slims, Jinnah said, should be treated as a separate nation 
and not a minority, otherwise there would be irretrievable 
disaster to the country. 

The Congress leaders thought that Jinnah was the voice 
of the Muslim classes and not of the Muslim masses. The 
Congress party and Pandit Nehru particulcirly stai'ted Muslim 
mass-contact drive to attract Muslim masses to the Congress. 
As this reading of the MusUm mind was historically untrue, 
the Muslim contact movement of Nehru prov^ to be not only 
a dismal failure, but also proved to be a Muslim conflict move- 
ment. Mr. Jinnah had made no secret of his burning hatred 
for the concept of the Constituent Assembly of an all-India 
character. To the Muslims he said : “ We do not want in any 
circumstances a constitution of an all-India character with one 
Government at the centre. ... If we once agree to that, let 
me tell you, the Muslims will be absolutely wiped out of 
existence.” - 

On September 1, 1939, Britain declared War on Germany 
‘ to save the whole world from the pestilence of Nazi tyranny 
and in defence of all that was sacred to man.’ H.E. the 
Marquis of Linlithgow, the Viceroy of India, proclaimed that 
India was at war with Germany and expressed that India 
would fight for human freedom as against the rule of force. 
Soon after this Gandhiji told the Viceroy that he was not 
thinking of the deliverance of India, and he broke down before 

^ Z. A. Suleri, My Leader, pp. 117-18. 

2 Ibid., p. 130. 

2 Chur<mill on September 3, 1039. 


the Viceroy as he pictured before himself the House of 
Parliament and the Westminster Abbey and their possible 
destruction. Pandit Noliru on his return journey from China 
issued a statement at Rangoon declaring that India had no 
desire to take advantage of Britain’s difficulties and was not 
out to bargain. 

The Liberals thought it disastrous if India were to offer help 
subject to conditions. The Parsees offered prayers and H.H. 
the Aga Khan appealed for heartfelt, loyal and unstinted 
service to the cause of the British Empire. Dr. Ambedkar 
lamented that India had no voice in her foreign policy in 
declaring war and in the making of peace. He further said 
that India should reuuiin witiiin the Bi itish Commonwealth of 
Nations and strive to achieve the status of equal partnership 
therein. He, too, appealed to Government to take steps to 
prepare Indians for defending their country. The Muslim 
League offered conditional support asking the British Govern- 
ment to create a sense of security and satisfaction amongst 
the Mussalmans, and curiously enough urged His Majesty’s 
Government to satisfy the Arab national demands. 

As President, of the Hindu Mahasabha, Savarkar declared 
that Britain’s claim that she entered war to Scifeguard the vital 
principles affecting human freedom was a political stunt so 
long as she continued to hold India in pohtical bondage. In 
his interview, on October 9, 1939, he plainly told the Viceroy 
at Delhi that none of the belligerent powers in Europe 
including Poland and, above all, Russia was actuated by any 
moral or human principle of Democracy, or the liberties of 
the down-trodden or political justice and equality beyond 
what suited the self-interests of the respective nations and 

However, Savarkar said that the Hindu Mahasabha felt 
itself concerned with the issues at stake in the war so far as 
they were hkely to affect the safety and interests of the Hindu 
Nation. He, therefore, appealed to the British Government 
to make an unambiguous declaration of gi-anting Hindusthan 
the status of a self-govez’ning Dominion as an immediate step 
leading towards the final goal of complete independence and 
to introduce immediately responsible Government at the 
Centre based on the democratic principle of ‘ one man one 

differences with the congress 255 

.vote/ He urged the Viceroy to guard India’s Western 
Frontiers by Hindu forces, to introduce compulsory military 
training in High Schools and Colleges throughout India (as in 
Englar d), to start and encourage Rifle Classes, to expand the 
Indian Territorial Force, to inspire the people of India to feel 
instinctively that the Indian Army was the Army of the people 
of India and not of Britain, and he appealed to the British 
Government not to use Indian forces outside India proper. 
Savarkar called upon Capital and Labour in the countiy to 
utilize thvT unique opportunity of the European War to capture 
the markets by working to •,'apacity all the existing industries 
and by starting new ones and replacing at full speed all foreign 
articles by Swadeshi.'^ 

But the main object of Savarkar ’s war policy was to make 
Hindus re-animated and re-born into a martial race. It w'as 
in this belief that, like Tilak, he had supported from the 
cellular jail in the Andamans the militarization movement 
during World War I, and was delighted to hear that his 
counti-ymen were allowed to go to Europe in thousands to 
light against the best military power in the world. In his 
youth, he wrote from London in 1906 quoting from the 
Spectator that soldiers could be thoroughly trained in six 
months, and casting a longing look at the then Boy Army of 
Britain, he felt that every Indian youth must learn Drill, 
Riding and Shooting. Long ago, in 1906 Savarkar observed 
in one of his letters from London that a nation’s existence 
depended upon its political independence. If the nation 
enjoyed independence, it could make progress. That indepen- 
dence in its turn depended upon the mental and military 
training the nation imparted to its youths. That was why 
after his release the first slogan he raised was, “ Down with 
the Arms Act, Start Rifle Classes.” Thus it can be seen from 
this that his militarization policy was consistent during both 
the World Wars. 

Savarkar was the only all-India leader, and the Hindu 
Mahasabha was the only political party in India that launched 
an intense propaganda for the militarization of the Hindus 
and for the industrialization of the country with pure patriotic 
and political objects during World War H. Liong before the 

‘ Savarkar, Whirlwind Propaganda, pp. 146-68. 


outbreak of World War n Savarkar had seized every . 
opportunity of bringing to the notice of the nation the woeful 
want of the military strength of the Hindus whenever he 
spoke in schools and colleges and even at literary conferences. 

Savarkar stressed the need for Hindu militarization in his 
speeches in Poona, Wardha, Chalisgaon, Delhi, Nagar, Lahore, 
Hyderabad (Sind) , Sukkar and during the war years he sent 
forth appeal upon appeal and gave an impetus to the move- 
ment, explaining liis militarization policy at Meerut, Salem, 
Changanaeheri, at Calcutta in the Ashutosh Hall and Scottish 
College and at Sangli in the Willingdon College. In one of 
his speeches he said : Today it may well appear that these 
men in the armed forces are mere slaves in the pay of a foreign 
Government ; but there can be no doubt that when tlie crucial 
moment comes, they will prove themselves real patriots and 
staunch Hindus.” While addressing the students of the 
Scottish College, Calcutta, he said : “ Since the days of our 
First War of Independence in 1857, it has been the policy of 
the British Government to keep the army out of politics. Our 
policy against this should be to carry politics into the army 
by all possible means and once we succeed in this, the battle 
of freedom will be won.” On another occasion he said : 

“ Forces beyond their control have compelled the British 
Government to trust you with arms and ammimition. 
Formerly youths had to rot in cells for being in possession of 
pistols, but today the Britishers are placing rifles, guns, 
cannons, and machine-guns in your hands. Get fully trained 
as soldiers and conunanders. Get thousands of mechanics 
trained into technical experts in building .shipyards, aero- 
planes, guns and ammunition factories. At another meeting 
he said : “ Why not co-operate when you are gaining ? Did 
you not flout the wily expectation of Lord Macaulay ? Then 
why not welcome this unique opportunity for our own good ? 
You know your enemies. I ask you to join the Army and 
wield the guns and turn them to the cause of freedom. I tell 
you this as plainly as I told the Viceroy himself about it. Do 
not worry about the bonds and agreements. The reverse of 
those scraps is blank. You can write new bonds and new 
agreements on it when the time comes. Mind, Swaraj will never 
come to you, although you cover the whole earth with paper 

differences with the congress 257 

resolutions. But if you pass resolutions with rifles on your 
shoulders, you will attain it.” 

Till the day of Savarkar^s whirlwind propaganda for Hindu 
militarization, military career was the monopoly of the 
Muslims, who formed the three-fourths of the Indian Army. 
The realist in Savarkar sensed the danger of the Muslim 
preponderance in the army in case of internal anarchy and 
external pressure. With that md in view Savarkar preached 
militarizati m sc that when ae proper time came for the 
British to quit India, Free 1 li i could stand erect with its 
national army. The editors of Lie so-called nationalist papers 
that throve on military contracts and military advertisements 
of the foreign Government whom they asked to quit, basely 
enough decried the soldiers as hirelings ; their leaders 
described the soldiers as “ rice soldiers,” their partymen 
stigmatized them as mercenaries, and the meanest born 
amongst them called Savarkar ' a recruit hero The worst 
of it was that those very journalists throve on papers, whose 
owners throve on Government contracts ; those very leaders 
whose relatives and friends made skyhigh profits out of 
military contracts ; those very persons who paid all sorts of 
taxes and co-operated with the British Government in 
conducting the railways and all other departments producing 
war materials with selfish motives and for paltry things and 
those followers of Gandhiji whose Gandhi Seva Sangh 
supplied the military with blankets, were the persons who 
ignobly attacked now and then Savarkar, who never asked his 
countrymen to contribute a pie to the war fund and whose 
propaganda for the Hindu militarization emanated from his 
selfless, patriotic, and far-sighted policy and anxiety for the 
welfare of India. What a paradox ! What a low level a slave 
country’s reason descends to ! In its degraded conditions it 
often curses the selfless as selfish. 

Despite these curses, Savarkar vigorously carried on his 
propaganda. What of Gandhi-brand jail-seekers, some of 
Savai’kar’s flamboyant lieutenants, too, at first could make 
neither head nor tail of his militarization policy, and were 
sceptical about it. No wonder then that men who posed as 
radicals and were outside Hindu Mahasabha looked askance 



at this policy. When Savarkar thundered from the Presi- 
dential Chair at the Annual Session of the Maharashtra 
Marathi Literary Conference in Bombay in January 1938, 
asking the delegates to abandon their pens in favour of guns 
the wordy parrots of progress grew restless at the re-appear- 
ance of Shivaji, who wanted to give them arms to turn them 
to the cause of freedom. Savarkar shouted in his Presidential 
Address to the Literary Conference : “ The absence of poetry^ 
and poets, novels and novelists would not be felt during the 
coming decade. Austria and China suffered not because they 
lacked good literature, but because they lacked military 
power. Did you not hear, O learned men, and scholars, the 
last pathetic shriek of the President of Austria ? He said, 
‘ We yield under German bayonets’ and not under German 

Savarkar further said : ‘‘ If literature is a part of the 
national life, its primary aim ought to be the .security of 
national life. I absolutely admire the advocates of the 
principle of “ Art for Art’s sake.” But when a theatre is 
ablaze, it is the duty of the true worshipper of Art to rush 
out to extinguish the gathering flames. What worth is litera- 
ture, then, if a whole nation is writhing with pain under the 
oppressor’s heel ? ” Savarkar went on : “ Did you forget the 
fate of Nalanda and Takshashila, the seats of leaiming, and 
other gi’eat libraries that were turned into smouldering 
ruins ? ... It was the triumphant sword of Shivaji that made 
Maharashtra safe for poets and philosophers.” He concluded 
his famous Presidential Address at this Literary Conference : 
“ I say, therefore, with all the emphasis at my command that 
the crying need of our times is not men of letters, but soldiers. 
It does not matter even if the whole decade is barren in respect 
of literature. Let there not be a song sung, or a sonnet 
composed. But let the streets resotmd with the thud of the 
feet of thousands of soldiers marching with modern rifles on 
their shoulders. A love song here, and a love story there, 
may come in as a diversion. We know even Napoleon would 
relax on occasions. Having brought his enemies to their 
knees, Bajirao I also enjoyed the prattle of love. But it gives 
me terrible pain to see my country reduced to the 
Brahmavarta of Bajirao II. My heart breaks with anguish 


when I St ' the vapid emasculated young faces engrossed in 
love prattles. So my message to you, literary men, is that 
you should abandon your pens in favour of guns ; for 
literature can never flourish in a slave country. It has been 
well said that pursuit of science is possible only in a free 
nation protected by the power of arms.” 

Independently and in honourable co-operation with the 
Government the Hindu Mahasabha workers and leaders gave 
an impetus to the Hindu ^’’ilitarization movement through the 
Hindu Mahasabha paper? they had at their command, from 
the platform and through the Militarization Boards which they 
had established independently of Government recruiting 
machinery. The effect of this intense propaganda was seen 
everywhere. The Muslim preponderance was effectively 
checkmated and brought down and the percentage of the 
Hindus in the army went as high up as seventy. 

So powerful was the effect of this propaganda that 
Sir Ziauddin Alimed, Vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim 
University, in a speech at Poona raised an alarm at the 
increasing number of Hindus enlisting daily in the Land, 
Navy and Air Forces thereby reducing the percentage of 
Muslims in the fighting Forces. The Eastern Times, a 
prominent Muslim League paper, too, raised an outcry against 
the march stolen upon the Muslim monopoly and wrote : 
“ The Hindu Mahasabha also has agitated strongly for 
militarization of the Hindus as a great opportunity and with 
the active co-operation of the Government, has met with 
astonishing success.” ^ 

The Muslims and the British Government knew well what 
Savarkar’s militarization movement stood for. It aimed at 
carrying politics into the military ranks of the Indian Army, 
and winning over the Army to the side of revolution for the 
final overthrow of the British yoke. It was, indeed, the 
military movement of Shahaji to facilitate the mission of his 
son, Shivaji, for the attainment of Swaraj. Every British 
statesman knew what Savarkar aimed at. Writing in Great 
Britain and the East in January 1943, Sir Alfred Watson, 
former editor of the Statesman, Calcutta, Sciid : “In his belief 
of dictatorship, Nehru has a dangerous rival in Savarkar, who 

^ Quoted by Bhide Guruji in From Quit India to Split India. 


does not hide his aspiration to rule under any veil of anony- 
mity but publicly proclaims it as the leader of the Hindu 
Sabha.” Sir Alfred proceeds : “ Savarkar claims domination 
on the democratic basis of counting heads. For that domina- 
tion he is prepared to fight and loudly demands that in 
recruiting for armies in India, the present rulers shall elect 
a majority of Hindus so that he may have an instrument to 
enforce his will when the British rule is finally abandoned. 
If it ever comes to a tussle between Nehru and Savarkar, as 
seems inevitable, there is little doubt who will win.’’ Except 
for the reference to dictatorship, Watson’s remarks are quite 

It is well known that Deshgaurav Subhas Bose cherished 
a loving admiration for Savarkar, and showed reverential 
respect for him whenever he visited Savarkar, the Prince of 
Indian revolutionaries. It is also an open secret now that 
Subhas, the devotee of Shivaji and his politics, had discussed 
the Indian political and international situation respecting 
World War II with Savarkar some months before his dramatic 
escape from India in January 1941. In the course of the 
discussion Savarkar, the Indian Mazzini, inspired Subhas Bose, 
the Indian Garibaldi, with the idea of an armed Revolution 
from outside in order to intensify the struggle for Freedom. 
The born general in Subhas took the cue, and played the role 
of the Indian Garibaldi, rightly called the Netaji of the Indian 
National Army, which was founded by Ras Behari Bose in 
the Elast. A world-famous veteran revolutionary and a 
man of great mental force and a powerful pen, Ras Behari 
Bose, who was the guide and sole adviser of the Azad Hind 
Government of Subhas Bose, was in correspondence with 
Savarkar till the outbreak of World War II, was President of 
the Japan Hindu Sabha, and had immensely contributed 
through the Indian League of Independence to the forces of 
the Indian Freedom Movement outside India. Netaji Subhas, 
the I.N.A. and India owe a debt of deep gratitude to Ras 
Behari Bose, the great figure of Indian Revolution. 

The leader and the Founder of the I.N.A. both addressed 
special messages to Savarkar over the Azad Hind Radio. On 
one of such occasions Netaji Bose gave a broadcast on Jime 
25, 1944, at night over the Singapore Radio and said : “ When 

Savarkar and Hindu Mahasabha Working Committee Members in 
Bombay (1^40) 

Savarkar and Cripps 

At the time of the Cripps 
Mission, the Mahasahha 
delegation meets the Con- 
gress delegation 


due to misguided political whims and lack of vision almost all 
the leaders of the Congress party are decrying all the soldiers 
in the Indian Army as mercenaries, it is heartening to know 
that Veer Savarkar is fearlessly exhorting the youths of India 
to enlist in the Armed Forces. These enlisted youths them- 
selves provide us with trained men from which we draw the 
soldiers of our Indian National Army.” 

Ras Behari Bose said in his Radio talk addressed to 
Savarkar : “ In saluting you I have the joy of doing my duty 
towards one of my elderly comrades-in-arms. In saluting 
you, I am saluting the symbol of sacrifice itself.” Paying 
homage to Savarkar’s unexampled sacrifice, untold sufferings 
and matchless courage, he further said : “ I can see God’s 
divine hand clearly behind your unconditional release. You 
have once more proved your real greatness by propagating 
the theme that our politics must never depend upon the 
foreign politics of others. England’s enemy must be our 
friend.” * Ras Behari concluded with Bande Mataram, 
reiterating his belief that Savarkar’s leadership was the 
greatest hope inside India. Is any further evidence necessary 
to prove that the very I.N.A. movement, which Savarkar’s 
opponents exploited, was the outcome of his ideology, politics 
and his great book on ‘ 1857 ’, which provided the I.N.A. with 
slogans, battle cries, and vision, and inspired them to fight the 
battle of freedom ? 


Savarkar’s main appeal to the Hindus was that they should 
elect only those Hindus, who could act openly, publicly and 
boldly as advocates of the Hindu Nation. The policy of the 
Congress party in power and in politics was entirely and 
grossly pro-Muslim. It encouraged the Muslims to be more 
and more communal, fanatical and overbearing. The actions 
of the Congress party were more anti-Hindu than their policy 
on paper, and they trampled upon even the most legitimate 
national claims and interests of the Hindus. One Congress 
Ministry asked the Hindus not to play any music whatsoever 
during the Moharam days. The Congress mutilated the Bande 

^Ras Behari Bose’s message to Savarkar quoted in Indian Independ- 
ence League’s Publication. 


Mataram cowardly. In their zest to plead that their natio- 
nalism was above suspicion, they vued with one another to 
prove to the Muslims that the Congressite Ministries had 
always sacrificed Hindu interests, pandered to the Muslim 
prejudices and loaded the latter with weightages, posts and 
positions at the cost of the interests of the national majority. 
But the more the Congress fawned, the more the Muslims 
pretended to be oppressed and grew more fanatic. 

Savarkar therefore unscathingly attacked this unjust and 
unpatriotic, servile, senile and placating attitude on the part 
of Congressmen. To Savarkar trampling the legitimate and 
just rights of the national majority and favouring others with 
undue weightages was perverse communalism, false and 
destructive nationalism. Not that he was not for a fair 
compromise with the Muslims on a true national basis. He 
had appreciated the right step taken by Sir Sikandar Hyat 
Khan, the Premier of the Punjab, in regard to the Shahid 
Gunj affair and said that it was wise for them all to bury the 
hatchet. Savarkar publicly appreciated the benevolent 
gestures shown by the Shias in Lucknow regarding the 
slaughter of cows and the playing of Music on public roads ; 
and expressed the hope that if all non-Hindus would adopt 
such an honourable, radical and accommodating formula of 
unity, that kind of mutual co-operation would develop into a 
common nationality, and common national State cemented 
with patriotic ties. 

But Savarkar never tolerated any unjust or unpatriotic 
demand on the part of the minorities made overtly or covertly. 
When the Azad Muslim Conference, held at Delhi in April 
1940, opposed the proposal of the vivisection of India, but 
resolved that the question of the nature and number of the 
safeguards must be dictated by the minorities themselves, 
Savarkar appreciated the first part, but denounced the latter 
part of the resolution as a demand for the pound of flesh. 
Savarkar believed that patriots fight for their Motherland they 
love as patriots, and not as mercenaries demanding their 
pound of flesh. When Sri Rajagopalachari came out with his 
sporting offer promising the Muslim League Pakistan if they 
joined the National Government, Savarkar replied indignantly 
that it was curious to see that “ even the Congressite leaders 


like Sri Rajaji should fail to perceive that the two terms 
‘ Pakistan ’ and an ‘ Indian National Government ’ were in 
themselves self-contradictory and self-destructive and how 
typical it was of the Congress! te conception of ‘ National 
Unity ’ that such eminent Congress leaders like Rajaji should 
have given an open assurance to the Muslims regarding 
Pakistan long before the British Government even dared to 
do so. The ‘ sportive offers ’ of Sri Rajagopalachari were 
becoming as much a pub] ; nuisance as the ‘ Inner Voices ’ of 
Gandhiji were wont to be . ' 

Not less infuriated was Savarkar by an article of Gandhiji 
in the Harijan dated the 13th October 1940, wherein Gandliiji 
stated that in case the British power was overthrown as a 
result of the war and an internal anarchy set in, “ the strongest 
power in the land would hold sw’ay over all India and this may 
be Hyderabad for aught I know. All other big and petty 
chiefs will ultimately succumb to the strongest power of the 
Nizam who will be the emperor of India.” Gandhiji also said 
in the article : “ If you ask me in advance, I would face 
anarchy to foreign orderly rule whether British or any other. 
I would unhesitatingly plump for anarchy, say, the rule of the 
Nizam supported by the chiefs becoming feudatory to him 
or supported by the border Muslim tribes. In my estimation, 
it will be cent per cent domestic. It will be Home Rule, 
though far, far from self-rule or Swaraj.” 

Savarkar replied ^ that Gandhiji knew as little of Indian 
History as of Hebrew and stated that though the rule of an 
Allauddin or an Aurangzeb was also a cent per cent domestic 
rule, the Hindus detested it as veritable hell and added that 
any rule of Muslims in future would be similarly hated and 
overthrown by a new Shivaji, a Bajirao or a Ranjit. As for 
the Nizam, Savarkar reminded him of the fate of King 
Amanulla of Afghanistan. How anti-democratic and politically 
false was the spirit of Gandhiji ’s article was well demonstrated 
eight years later by his disciples, Nehru and Patel, who 
attacked Hyderabad State and smashed the Nizam’s ambitious 
role and his tyrannical un-domestic rule, vindicating the 
correct stand taken by Savarkar in regard to the Hyderabad 

1 Savarkar, Whirlwind Propaganda, pp. 239-58. 


State in 1939 when he challenged the Nizam’s misrule and 


Another point of difference with the Congress party was the 
attitude of the latter to the Census. Savarkar believed then 
that for at least ten years to come, all constitutional progress 
and matters regarding public services, representation in 
legislatures, etc. would necessarily be indexed or determined 
by the figures and information registered in the Census of 
1941. He, therefore, condemned the senseless policy of the 
Congress party in boycotting the Census and said that the 
Congress policy would hit the Hindus hard. 

The numerical strength recorded in the Census of 1941 in 
respect of the Hindus and Muslims was going to affect political 
discussions in India as had the Census of 1931 affected the Act 
of 1935. On the eve of the Census of 1941 Savarkai’ issued a 
fervent public appeal to all Hindus including the Bhils 
Santhals and all Animists to get themselves correctly 
enumerated. Savarkar announced : “ Hindus, wake up ; the 
hour of the Census strikes.” With a great hope and sense of 
duty, he issued instructions to all District and Provincial 
Hindu Sabhas to co-operate with the Census authorities, to 
watch vigilantly the operation, approach the authorities 
and secure an assurance from Government that Muslim 
women’s number would be scrutinized by Christian and 
Anglo-Indian lady Supervisors. In a special appeal, Savarkar 
exhorted the Arya Samajists, Lingayats, Jains and Sikhs that 
they might show their religion as Vaidic, Lingayat, Jain, Sikh, 
but they should at least see that they were recorded as Arya 
(Hindu) , Lingayat (Hindu), Jain (Hindu) , and Sikh (Hindu) 
as their religions were of Indian origin, and as they regarded 
India as their Fatherland and Holyland. 

The Congressmen boycotted the Census as they did in 1921 
and 1931 and the General Secretary of the Congress, Sri J. B. 
Kripalani, isisued a statement on the eve of the Census of 1941 
to the effect that the Congress refused to have anytliing to do 
with the Census as it was a communal question. Savarkar 
retorted that if it was so, how did the Congress beg for votes 


at the doors of the communal electorates at the time of 
elections ? Not only that, they even filled in their own castes 
and religion in the nomination papers. Moreover, it was very 
strange that these very Congressmen gave recognition to the 
numerical strength of the Muslims while deciding the political 
questions of India. 

The Congress-minded Hindus respected the Congress 
mandate and suffered terribly. No wonder then that the 
Census, which showed T^-ndus to form .13 per cent in the 
Punjab in 1881, showed tv. ir percentage In be 49. in 1921, 48 in 
1931 and 47 in 1941 and simultaneously recorded a rise in the 
population of the Muslims during ilie periods from 47 per 
cent to 53 in the Punjab. In Assam, thirty years ago, the 
Muslim percentage was 26 ; in 1931 it rose to 31 and in 1941 
to 33.7 ; and Bengal, which had already suffered a great loss 
in the numei-ical strength of the Hindus in the Census on the 
previous two occasions and had reaped the fruits in the form 
of the Communal Award, was at last declared in 1941 a 
Muslim majority province. What the incorrect Census had 
done to the Bengal Hindus was the result of the criminal 
negligence of their top-most Hindu leaders, foremost news- 
papers and illustrious personedities towards the solidarity and 
correct recording of the Hindu population under the ruinous 
influence of the Congress. The Modern Reinew in its issues 
of June and November 1941 disclosed the mischief played by 
the Bengal Muslim League Ministry in the Census affair, 
avowing that the Muslims were not in a majority in Bengal 
and that many Hindus especially the tribesmen numbering 
about 14 per cent remained unenumerated. 

Students of history and politics may note that these very 
Congressmen who boycotted the Census of 1931 took the 
figures of the Muslim population as correct while discussing 
and determining the question of communal weightages, etc. in 
1931. It was they who boycotted the Census of 1941 and yet 
again conducted later on their negotiations with Jinnah and 
the British Cabinet Mission for determining the issue of 
Pakistan on the basis of these very census figures the 
procedure and reliability of which was so doubtful ! 




Two guiding principles inspired Savarkar through his 
political career ; they were the Independence and the Indivisi- 
bility of India. These were the articles of faith with Savarkar 
and the Hindu Mahasabha. To Savarkar from the Indus to the 
Seas, India was one and indivisible. In his Presidential 
Address at the Hindu Mahasabha Session at Ahmedabad in 
1937, he stated that the very words, Portuguese India and 
French India sounded preposterous and insulting to us, and 
declared that the Hindusthan of tomorrow must be one and 
indivisible, not only a united, but a Unitarian nation from 
Kaslimir to Rameshwar, from Sind to Assam. He believed 
that the Independence of India was in sight ; but he sensed the 
danger to the integrity of India from the vacillating, servile, 
deceptive, and short-sighted lead and policy of the Congress 
in respect of the Blank Cheque offers, the Communal Award, 
the Simon Commission, the Census, the National Script, the 
Lingua Franca and the National Anthem. 

And as foretold by Savarkar the anti-national forces through 
the Muslim League came out with a demand for dividing India 
into sej>arate independent States, and the time for struggling 
against and suppressing the forces of vivisection came. The 
Muslim League, at its Lahore Session in 1940, declared “ that 
the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority 
as in the North-Western and Eastern Zones of India should 
be grouped to constitute ‘ Independent States in which the 
constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign The 
Congress which had till then capitulated to the Muslim League 
in its communal demands was rightly apprehended by 
Savarkar to grant the demand for Pakistan. He, therefore, 
declared that a vote for the Congress was a vote for Pakistan 
and sounded a warning to the whole nation in April 1940 : 

“ A number of Congress leaders of eminence are very likely 
to go a long way in acquiescing even in this notorious demand 
of the Muslims to break up the unity and integrity of India 
and the Indian State, if the Hindus do not repudiate in time 
the claim of the Congress to speak on behalf of Hindudom as 
a whole." 


And when a year after, he told his audience at Lucknow 
that there was a move for compromise on the question of 
Pakistan among the Congress High Command, the purblind 
Congress press discredited Savarkar for having suspected the 
peerless patriotism of their holy fathers, and declaied with 
all the force at their command that Savarkar assertion was 
an untruth, although subsequently Congress politics literally 
bore out Savarkar \s assertions ! 

Mr. Jinnah denounce ' the Hindu Mahasabha in his 
Presidential Address at ? Madras Session of the Muslim 
League in 1941 as an abs< Aitel 3 ^ incorj igible and hopeless 
body, and threatened that if the British Government failed to 
create an independent group of Pakistan States, others W'ould 
come and do it. Savarkar accepted Mr. Jinnah’s remarks 
about the Hindu Mahasabha as an unalloyed tribute to the 
unalloyed patriotism of the Hindu Mahasabha, and asked the 
Congress party to read with open eyes the widting on the 
wall — the declaiation of Pakistan — and warned them not to 
deceive themselves and to delude the masses by misreading 
and misunderstanding the demands of the Muslim League. 

In his reply to Mr. Jinnah Savarkar further retorted that 
if the State of the Croats was an ideal and a prototype of his 
Pakistan, he asked Mr. Jinnah to refer to history about the 
fate of the Croats, the Serbs and the Slavs, who had been 
victims of larger States. As for the threat from outside forces, 
Savarkar replied that the Pan-Islamic alliance would be 
resisted by a Hindu-Buddhistic alliance from Jammu to Japan 
and he warned Mr. Jinnah : ‘‘ Then again, such parasite 
growths of the Pakistan type are no new experience to 
Hindudom. During the course of the last five thousand years 
of its continuous growth and consolidation, this gigantic 
Octopus of Hindudom has clutched and crushed Avithin the 
formidable grip of its mighty arms and absorbed a number of 
Shakasthans, Hunasthans, and the Marathas sw^allowed and 
gulped down your verj^ Mogul Empire entirely before it knew 
what was happening.” “The same fate,” asserted Savarkar 
vehemently, “ shall these your petty parasites of your Pakistan 
States meet after a miserable existence for a time, even if 
they ever come into existence.” He then concluded his 


historical reply to Mr. Jinnah, “History avers to the ever- 
abiding truth that in India : 

‘ Pakistans may come and Pakistans may go 
But Hindusthan goes on for ever.’ 

Savarkar then put forth his historical formula for the 
formation of a imited and powerful Indian State. He said : 
“ There is, consequently, only one way for the Indian Moslems 
to secure their safety, peace and prosperity as a community 
in India ; and that is to get themselves incorporated whole- 
heartedly and loyally into an Indian Nation which can only 
be done on the following basic principles: — 

(1) Independence of India and Indivisibility of India as 
a Nation and State. (2) Representation strictly in 
proportion to the population strength. (3) PubUc 
Services to go by merit alone, and (4) the fundamental 
rights of freedom of worship, language, script, etc. 
guaranteed to all citizens alike.” 

After putting forth the basic principles for an honourable 
Hindu-Muslim unity and the formation of the Indian State, 
Savarkar reiterated his famous historic formxUa, which was 
the guiding .star of self-respecting and rising nation: — 

“ On these terms and on these terms alone, if they come, 
with them, if they do not without them ; but if they 
oppose, in spite of them, the Hindus are determined to 
continue the good fight for the freedom and integrity of 
Hindusthan.” ' 

Savarkar, Whirlwind Propaganda, pp. 359-75. 


Roosevelt, Churchill and Cripps 


Meantime, there was a move in tlie Liberal Circles to solve 
the deadlock in their way. They held a Non-Party 

Conference in March 1941 at the Taj Malial Hotel, Bombay. 
The Convener of the Conference was the late Sir Tej Bahadur 
Sapru. It may be noted here that a few days before this 
Gandhiji had called on the ailing knight at his residence in 
Allahabad. Sir Tej was also in coi'respondence with Gandhiji, 
and Dr. Jayakar had seen Savarkar in the preceding month. 
Intellectual and legal luminaries of India attended the 
Conference. Prominent among those who attended the 
Conference weie Sir Jagdish Prasad, Sir Nripendranath 
Sirkar, Sir Chimanlal Setalvad, Loknayak Aney, Dr. Moonje, 
Pandit Kunzru, Dr. Jayakar, Savarkar and Dr. Mookerjee. 

The Conference was about to break up since some of the 
leaders were nervous about the representative character 
of the Conference. At such a crucial moment Sir Tej 
requested Savarkar to speak on the point. Addressing the 
Conference, Savarkar said that they had struck a note in the 
political history of the country. They had proved that the 
various parties in India could meet on the basis of a common 
programme though they had allegiance to different ideologies. 
As the President of the Hindu Mahasabha, he asserted his 
belief in India’s right to absolute political independence ; but 
although some of them in the Conference were not prepared 
to go so far with him, he did not see why they should not 
travel together so long as they had a common journey. Thus 
by his calm and convincing arguments he gave a turn to the 

The Conference then set to work and demanded Provisional 
National Government for India. At the conclusion of the 
Conference Sir Tej expressed openly his gratitude to Savarkar 
and acknowledged that Savarkar’s valuable guidance and 


spirit saved the Conference from a fiasco. It was at this 
Conference that the Liberal leaders were indelibly impressed 
by Savarkar’s intellectual and persuasive powers and rational 
and realistic approach to the political problems. Sri Srinivas 
Sastri happened to meet Savarkar at this juncture. Later on, 
while speaking at the twenty-third Session of the National 
Liberal Federation held at Madras, Sastri referred to a meeting 
with Savarkar at Bombay and said that the speaker was not 
well acquainted with Mr. Savimkar and had met him only once 
at one of those infructuous, pacificatory teas, organized 
by Sir Chiinanlal Setalvad. On that occasion the speaker had 
expected to see a gentleman perverse, obstinate and loud, but 
found a thin looking, quiet Maharashtra chap, speaking slowly 
and deliberately, seldom raising his voice and always 
apparently in full possession of his mind and knowing exactly 

what he wanted Sastri further said that he at once 

conceived a great admiration for the man. Thus at one more 
political rally Savarkar captivated the intellectual luminaries 
and lofty brains of India by his reason, intellect and the 
uncommon range and quality of his mental and argumentative 

The reaction of Mr. Jinnah to this Non-Party Conference 
was notable. From Bangalore he declared that the Conference 
was engineered by the agents of the Congress and the Hindu 
Mahasabha. Mr, L. S. Amery, the Secretary of State for 
India, referred to the Bombay Non-Party Conference in his 
speech in the House of Commons in April 1941, and said that 
the Conference had not been able to secure any kind of 
agreement on the scheme. Replying to the charges levelled 
by Mr. Jinnah and Mr. Amery, in a statement Sir Tej stated 
that in his political life he had never been trapped by anybody 
and said : “ I was more than gratified that men like 

Mr. Savarkar and Dr. Moonje, who were present at the 
Conference, played the game and accepted the resolution. 
They were men of strong party convictions and yet, for the 
sake of settlement, they subordinated their party feelings to 
the common goal we had in view.’' ’ Sapru soon saw the 
Viceroy and was then “ thinking, according to the Nainital 
correspondent of the Statesman, of a joint meeting of Gandhi ji, 

^ The Mdhratta, dated 2-5-1941. 


Mr. Savarkar and Mr. Jinnah or a small Conference including 
these three leaders, convened by some persons of influence 
outside the League and the Congress.’’ ‘ 

Then came the first breach in the stronghold of the Central 
citadel of the British Bureaucracy. Lord Linlithgow, the 
Viceroy of India, reshuffled his Executive Council on July 21, 
1941, making appointments of seven Indians. Savarkar opined 
that the change was a step in the right direction if it was to 
pave the way for further and rapid development of constitu- 
tional progress, and stated that the bitterness felt by patriotic 
parties in India could not be dissipated unless Britain granted 
India, if not full independence, at least equal partnership in 
the Irido-British Commonwealth. 

In the wake of these political changes, a second Session of 
the Sapru Conference was again held at Poona on Jul^^ 26, 
1941, wherein Savarkar got the United India resolution passed 
by the Conference. At the morning sitting of the Session on 
that day Sir Mirza Ismail was present, but he was conspicu- 
ously absent when the United India resolution came up for 
discussion in the evening. Savarkar, therefore, pertinently 
inquired of Sir Tej the whereabouts of his trusted Ismail and 
Sir Tej with a smile replied that it was true that Sir Mirza 
Ismail had not turned up as promised. Was the absence of 
a nationalist Muslim inexplicable at the time of such an 
important resolution ? 

It did not escape the alert eyes of Savarkar that the Viceroy 
had not done justice to the claims of the Sikhs and the 
Depressed Classes and therefore he wired to the Viceroy 
urging him to nominate a Sikh leader on the Executive 
Council. The non-inclusion of a Depressed Class repiesenla- 
tive in the Executive Council was rightly resented by 
Dr. Ambedkar. Savarkar immediately supported the strong 
protest which Dr. Ambedkar had made in claiming a seat on 
the Viceregal Executive Council and the Mahasabha President 
said in his wire to the Viceroy that “ the British Government 
could find no more capable a gentleman to fill that post than 
Dr. Ambedkar himself.” 

Savarkar believed that no nation had entered the 
World War with any idealistic motives and U.S.A. would not 

* The Mahrattay dated 9-5-1941. 


translate her slogans of democracy into action by forcing a 
democratic rule in India. To underline this truth Savarkar 
sent a cable on August 20, 1941, to the American President, 
Mr. Franklin D. Roosevelt, urging him to declare explicitly 
whether the Atlantic Charter which was announced by 
Mr. Churchill and Mr. Roosevelt on August 14, 1941, covered 
the case of India or not and whether America guaranteed the 
full political freedom of India within a year after the end of 
the war. Savarkar further asked President Roosevelt : “ If 
America fails to do that, India cannot but construe this decla- 
ration as another stunt like the War aims of the last Anglo- 
German War, meant only to camouflage the Imperialistic 
aggressions of those who have empires against those who have 
them not or are out to win them ! ” 

This cable was broadcast throughout the world, especially 
in Britain, America, Germany, India, and other belligerent 
nations. Its implied assertion was fully exploited by Hitler’s 
German propaganda to expose the hollowness of the allied 
professions of love for democracy ! Mr. Churchill, the 
War-time Prime Minister of Britain, was in the end compelled 
to tear off with his own hand the mask of vague platitudes. 
Mr. Churchill declared with his usual blunt candour that the 
Atlantic Charter applied only to those countries which were 
then under the Nazi yoke. Savarkar did not leave the matter 
there. He again cabled to President Roosevelt on September 
22, 1941, and asked the President of the great Republic 
whether he dared contradict Mr. Chui’chill’s interpretation or 
played a second fiddle to Churchill’s dictation by words or 
silence. President Roosevelt in fact kept silence over 
Savarkar’s pointed question. It was a straight hit that 
exposed the altruistic motives of the Allies. This Savarkarian 
trap for the American President was described by the Modem 
Review as a statecraft. 

A similar cable Savarkar had sent on April 23, 1939, to 
President Roosevelt, who had sent forth an appeal to Herr 
Hitler to wai’d off the impending colossal danger to the 
civilization of humanity. In this cable Savarkar had appealed 
to the American President : “ If your note to Hitler is actuated 
by disinterested human anxiety for safeguarding freedom and 
democracy from military aggression, pray ask Britain too to 


withdraw the amied domination over Hindusthan and let 
her have a free and self-determined Constitution. A great 
nation like Hindusthan can surely claim at least as much 
International Justice as small nations do.” 

This cable underlined Savarkar’s conviction that so far as 
war was concerned, India need not base her hopes on the 
professed war aims of the Allies. The Germans flashed this 
retort of Savarkar to the American President all over 
Germany as they had broadcast throughout their nation 
Savarkar s speeches on foreign politics. The frank exposition 
of this truth was very much appreciated by many candid 
American politicians one of whom Mr. M. M. Gross wrote to 
Savarkar from the U.S.A. appreciating his cable to President 
Roosevelt : “ Although there are many who believe as you 
and I, very few have the courage to voice their feelings as you 
did. Keep up the work, there will be an international day of 
peace.” Another American of note promised co-operation in 
publishing Savarkar’s viewpoint before the American people. 

The popularity and influence of the Hindu Mahasabha was 
rising and the Hindu Mahasabha was now a force to be 
reckoned with. Noted politicians, authors and constitutional 
experts from abroad now interviewed Savarkar at his house 
at Shivaji Park, Bombay. Towards the end of 1941, 
Mr. Hudson, the Reforms Commissioner, then officially 
travelling in India to collect data for the future constitution 
of India, had an interview with Savarkar. Prof. Reginald 
Coupland of the Oxford University, who visited India for 
studying the political constitution of India, met Savarkar along 
with the Secretary to the Governor of Bombay on January 15, 
1942. Mr. T. A. Raman, special correspondent of the North 
American News Papers Alliance, saw Savarkar during the 
same month. Mr. John H. Magruder, representative of the 
New York Times, who was on active Naval service in Egypt, 
had come to India to join the American Navy. He saw 
Savarkar and discussed the Indian political situation with 
him. Sir Evelyn Wrench, a representative of the Spectator, 
London, who was on a political survey in India, interviewed 
Savarkar to acquaint himself with the Mahasabha view on 
the war situation and the Pakistan scheme. 

At this jimcture there was a grave crisis in the war situation 



for the Allies in the East as well as in the West. On February 
11, 1942, Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek of China paid a 
meteoric visit to India. He was the President of the Chinese 
Republic and it was said he had come to discuss with the 
Viceroy of India the war situation in the context of the 
political situation in India and if possible to persuade the Indian 
political forces to help the Allies unconditionally in the war. 
Savarkar greeted the Chinese leader on behalf of the Hindu 
Nation. In reply the Chinese leader and his wife thanked 
Savarkar for the good wishes. 

Singapore fell shortly afterwards to Japanese forces. Wiih 
the fall of Singapore and the destruction of the British 
warships, the Repulse and the Prince of Wales, it seemed that 
Japan would smash the allied forces in the East. At this 
psychological moment Savarkar issued a statement in which 
he reiterated : “ Nothing now can rouse the Indian people 
with a war-like spirit to fight to a finish, but a bold and 
unambiguous proclamation on the part of the British Govern- 
ment that India is guaranteed forthwith a co-partnership in 
an Indo-British Commonwealth with other self-governing 
constituents including Great Britain herself. Every functional 
step to nationalise the Government in India and to materialise 
this proclamation must also be immediately and actually 
taken.” Savarkar also warned the British Government : “ If 
Japan is allowed to forestall the British Government in this 
case and to proclaim as soon as and if her invading forces 
reach the borders of India that their immediate objective is 
to free and guarantee the Independence of India, such a 
Proclamation on their part cannot but capture the imagination 
of the Indian people by storm and usher in incalculable 
poUtical compUcations.” ^ This statement was not a veiled 
threat. It was the outcome of the rare insight and poUtical 
wisdom that was soon largely borne out by events. 


Since 1940, the fissiparous tendencies in Indian poUtics had 
begun to assume a threatening aspect. In the first week of 
March 1942, Sri Rajagopalachari styled the MusUm demand 

^ Statement dated 17-2-1942. 


for vivisection of India into a brood of Pakistani States as a 
‘ just and fair share in real power and stated that no Indian 
politician was interested in denying this.’ Savarkar could 
not let this outrageous assumption go unchallenged. He 
condemned Rajaji’s statement and said ; “ Rajaji’s officiousness 
is only equalled by his audacity in presuming that he was 
entitled to play the role of a self-appointed spokesman of all 
politicians in India and secondly that all Indians who did not 
think the demands of the Moslem League ‘ fair and just ’ were 
not politicians at all. The League demands that India should 
be vivisected into a brood of Pakistans. Does that amount 
only to a desire to have a ‘ fair and just ’ share in real power ? ” 
Savarkar warned the British Government that such com- 
promises made by Congressmen were not binding on the 
Hindu Mahasabha. 

On March 7, 1942, Savarkar cabled to the British Premier, 
Mr. Churchill, urging him “ to make a proclamation of the 
Indian Independence with co-partnership equal with Britain 
in an Indo-British Commonwealth ” and demanded “ imme- 
diate nationalisation of the Indian Government.” The Premier 
of Britain acknowledged the cable through the Viceroy and 
thanked Savarkar. About this time there was some talk of a 
Congress-League pact in which Sir Sikandar Hyat Khan, 
Prime Minister of the Punjab, figured prominently. Savarkar 
warned Sir Sikandar Hyat Khan that “ any Congress-League 
pact would not be binding on the Hindus. If it was detrimental 
to the Hindu rights, it would be opposed by the Hindu 

By now the war situation was worsening for the Allies. 
Threatened with a grave crisis in war created by the lightning 
successes of Japan in March 1942, and with a view to 
impressing the American people with the genuine sincerity 
of British aims about India, the British Cabinet sent one of 
their Ministers, Sir Stafford Cripps, to India on March 23, 
1942, with a Cabinet proposal. The proposal was a mischievous 
scheme for the Indian nationalists. The proposal envisaged 
the creation of a new Indian Union which would constitute 
a Dominion associated with the United Kingdom immediately 
after the cessation of hostilities. Secondly the proposal 
granted the right to any province in British India that was not 


prepared to accept the new constitution framed by the 
constitution-making body, to retain ite then constitutional 
position, provision being made for its subsequent accession, if 
it so desired. 

Cripps interviewed important Indian leaders of public 
opinion and discussed his scheme with them. Accompanied 
by Dr. Moonje, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Sir Jwala- 
prasad Srivastava and Lala Ganpat Rai, Savarkar had a 
memorable interview with Cripps. Though the first part of 
the Cripps Scheme was acceptable to Savarkar, he roundly 
condemned in the interview the second part of the scheme 
which virtually conceded Pakistan by granting the right of 
secession to the provinces under the sweet name of 
self-determination. During the course of the discussion 
Cripps, the one-time Advocate-General of Britain, opined that 
the right of self-determination was not new in politics and 
was given to every unit in Canada before the formation of 
her federation. To support his case Cripps also cited examples 
from South Africa and other countries. Savarkar thereupon 
turned those arguments upon Cripps himself by telling the 
British Minister that the Canadian States were already quite 
separate entities before they were called together to say 
whether they liked to form themselves into an organic State, 
Federal or otherwise. But here in India, continued Savarkar, 
unlike the Canadian States, the provinces were already 
welded into one Central unit and so there was no similarity 
between the two cases. Savarkar further said to Cripps : 

“ The question before us today is not to form out of separate 
and independent States or constituents a new nation, or a 
federation or a confederation. India is already a Unitarian 

Cripps replied that India was never a Unitarian nation. 
Thereupon Savarkar answered back : “ To the Hindus, it is 
an article of faith that India, their Motherland and Holyland, 
is a cultural and national unit undivided and indivisible. Let 
alone the cultiural unity which you may not grasp during this 
short period of the interview, but you wiU agree that 
politically and administratively the British Government 
admits it and calls the Government of India the Indian 
Government, the Army and Navy are called the Indian Army 


and Indian Navy, and Bombay and Bengal are called the 
provinces. All these factors prove that India is an undivided 
centralised nation and a State. And as for the principle of 
self-determination, it is a right to be given to a nation as a 
whole and not io a part thereof.” 

Savaikar’s arguments were irrefutable. The effect was 
powerful. Caught in his own trap for the first time while 
conducting political negotiations with Indian leaders, Cripps 
who set Russia against Cermany and enticed many Indian 
leaders like Pandit Nehrif nm his snare, hung down his head 
in silence. The suavity of his manners and sweetness of his 
tongue faded ! In his silence he accepted a defeat at the 
hands of Savarkar. The interview terminated and Savarkar 
came out with his face flushed, and he remarked to the 
pressmen : “ We shall fight out Pakistan to the last.” So 
crushing and complete was the defeat inflicted on Sir Stafford 
Cripps by Savarkar that this interview became a topic among 
political circles at Delhi for many days. Even the National 
Herald, Pandit Nehru’s mouthpiece, referred to this interview 
in its comments on the proposed retirement of Savarkar from 
the Presidentship of the Hindu Mahasabha. The National 
Herald remarked : ^ “ Profoundly as we disagree with 

Savarkar’s politics, we freely admit that he is one of the few 
men of our age who have made history and contributed to a 
reawakening of oiir people. . . . He showed the old fire in him, 
when he took up the thoughtless challenge thrown to the 
Hindu Mahasabha by the Government of Bihar, and obtained 
a resounding victory at Bhagalpur. With Sir Stafford Cripps 
he crossed swords which the former will never forget.” And 
indeed the voice of Savarkar will ring in the ears of Cripps 
for many years to come. 

Savarkar advised the Working Committee of the Hindu 
Mahasabha to reject the Cabinet proposal in toto as it was to 
be accepted or rejected in toto, and he left Delhi for Bombay 
immediately. The Hindu Mahasabha was the first political 
organisation that rejected the Cabinet proposal entirely. 
Cripps wanted to have a talk with Savarkar a second time, 
but Savarkar felt that it was futile to see him and discuss the 
scheme while the secession clause stood there. Yet Savarkar 

1 Quoted in The Mahratta, dated 28-8-1942. 


was interviewed again at the Bombay Secretariat by H.E. the 
Governor of Bombay when Savarkar expressed his view that 
the Hindu Mahasabha would join the National Government if 
the secession clause was not binding. 

The Muslim League rejected the Cabinet proposal as the 
freedom of separation was neither full nor clear. The Sikh 
All-Party Conference rejected it protesting against the 
principle of provincial self-determination. The Congress 
party was willing to accept the scheme. Be it noted that in 
spite of the secession clause which it swallowed, after 
prolonged negotiations the Congress strained at the gnat of 
the Defence Portfolio which was to remain in the hands of 
the British representative during the operation of war, and 
at last rejected the scheme. Thus it was Savarkar who first 
opened the Pandora’s box brought by the wily, crafty and 
subtle Cripps full of artificial laugh, while the new expression 
self-determination had bewitched some men of Savarkar’s 
camp, had accelerated the brainwave of the cool and 
calculating Sapru-type Liberals, and had visibly affected the 
spinal chord of the Indian National Congress. The Indian 
leaders were so thoroughly captivated that they quoted Cripps 
to silence their opponents ! 

It is worth mentioning here that eminent Liberal leaders 
like Sri Srinivas Sastri, Sir V. N. Chandavarkar and veteran 
statesmen like Sir C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar and Sri Ramananda 
Chatterjee had sensed the danger to the integrity of India 
through the suicidal policy of the Congress. Ramananda 
Chatterjee who presided over a public meeting at the 
University Institute Hall, Calcutta, on August 22, 1941, said ; 
“I am sure, if we are true sons and daughters of India, it 
shall never be divided.” Speaking at a meeting at the 
Blavatsky Lodge Hall, Bombay, on the next day of Savarkar’s 
historic interview with Sir Stafford Cripps, Sri Srimvas Sastri 
appealed to the coimtry to support the Hindu Mahasabha and 
said : “ We all cherish the unity of India and we will all resist 
any attempt to break up what we take so much pride in. . . . 
Hindus whether they belong to the Congress, the Liberal 
Federation, or any other organization will express their 
sympathy with the Hindu Mahasabha. They should not only 
rest content with mere sympathy, but also go to the extent 


of extending their active political support to the Hindu 
Mahasabha.” ^ 

This is a great tribute to the invincible stand taken by 
Savarkar in regard to the integrity of India and this fervent 
appeal made by Sastri to all the Hindus for supporting the 
Hindu Mahasabha clearly meant that Sastri believed that the 
integrity of India was safer in the hands of Savarkar than in 
those of the Congress leaders. 

And what did the Congress leaders do ? 

Mesmerised by the false ideas of the principle of self- 
determination and impelled by the craftiness of its President, 
Maulana Azad, the Congress High Command thrust the 
poisonous pill of Provinciial self-determination down the throat 
of the Indian National Congress, the erstwhile protagonist of 
India’s unity and indivisibility. The Working Committee of 
the Indian National Congress proclaimed emphatically by a 
resolution at Delhi in April 1942, “ that the Congress could 
not think in terms of compelling the people of any territorial 
unit to join the Indian Union against their declared and 
established will.” 

This historic resolution brought into bold relief the fact that 
the Congress favoured the provinces with the right of self- 
determination or secession and such secession was called by 
the Muslims ‘ Pakistan ’. Dealing with the Congress resolution 
four years after. Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya had to admit : “ It 
is evident that the passage concedes the division of India into 
more than one State and gives the go-by to the xmity and 
integrity of India.” ^ Is any confession more sinful than this 
of Pattabhi ? People of the Congress persuasion hoped that 
Pandit Nehru would oppose the principle of provincial self- 
determination. But self-determination was a new current of 
thought in Indian politics and Nehru who was ever on his 
wings to march with new ideas must fall in line with the 
provincial self-determination ! It was the shape of things to 
come and Nehru honestly fitted himself into it ! 

When this .historic resolution of the Congress was out, 

^ Quoted in The Mahratta, dated 3-4-1942. 

^Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, History of the Indian National Congress, 
Vol. n. p. 635. 

3 Ibid. 


Savarkar came out with a statement in which he said : “ For 
the last three years or so I have been publicly warning the 
Hindus that there was every likelihood that the Congress 
would servilely surrender to the Moslems on the issue of 
Pakistan even as it did on the issue of Communal Award 
and would even have the crazy audacity of parading this 
treacherous act itself as an acid test of Indian patriotism. The 
Congressite Hindus continued to challenge and a large section 
of the non-Congress Hindus also used to doubt the accuracy 
of these assertions on my part. They wanted evidence to 
prove my assertions. Now here comes the evidence with a 
vengeance. Here is an authoritative declaration by the 
Congress framed in a resolution which they have passed, 
signed, sealed and delivered to the envoy of the British War 
Cabinet that they admitted the right on the part of the Muslim 
Provinces, nay, for the matter of that any provinces whatever, 
to cut themselves off from Hindusthan and create Independent 
States of Pakistans or any other Sthans they choose.” Telling 
the people to note the dangerous admission on the part of the 
Congress and its far-reaching treacherous implications, he 
declared : “ The Congress which calls itself ‘ Indian National 
Congress ’ has in these few lines stabbed at a stroke the unity 
and integrity of the Indian Nation itself in the back.” ^ 

For a while there was a tug-of-war between the righteous 
and unrighteous flanks of the Congress over the anti-national 
resolution of the Congress. National honesty about the inte- 
grity and indivisibility of Hindusthan seemed to move towards 
the righteous side. In Allahabad at the Session of the All-India 
Congress Committee on May 2, 1942, the erstwhile Hindu- 
sabhaite, Babu Jagat Narayan, moved his Akhand Hindusthan 
resolution, and it was passed with an overwhelming majority. 
The A.I.C.C. declared : “ That any proposal to disintegrate 
India by giving liberty to any component State or territorial 
imit to secede from the Indian Union or Federation will be 
highly detrimental to the best interests of the people of 
different States and provinces and the country as a whole and 
the Congress therefore cannot agree to any such proposal.” 

Mkirk the pledged word to Mother India. Mark the holy 
promise of national honesty and national integrity. But the 

1 Statement, dated 21-4-1942. 


Hindu defender of Pakistan in Rajaji would not let the 
Akhand Hindusthan resolution go unchallenged. He resigned 
the membership of the Congress Working Committee and 
moved a counter resolution recognizing the right of separation 
of certain areas from United India after ascertaining the 
wishes of the people of such areas. But this Pakistan 
resolution moved by Rajaji was thrown out on the same day 
by the A.I.C.C. by 120 votes against 15. 

Another factor to remembered about Babu Jagat 
Narayan’s Akhand Hin lusthan resolution is that all the 
so-called Nationalist members of the A.I.C.C. opposed 
it in the A.I.C.C. session, and declared this brave act of theirs 
in a special statement. Yet the dishonest role of the self- 
styled saviours of India persisted in its vainglorious platitudes, 
high sounding words, knavery and hallucinations. When asked 
by Dr. Abdul Latif of Hyderabad, Maulana Azad and Pandit 
Nehru replied that the Delhi resolution conceding the right of 
self-determination to the provinces was not affected by the 
Akhand Hindusthan resolution ! ^ Had there been five honest, 
fearless and determined leaders in the A.I.C.C., they could 
have raised a voice of truth, a cry of righteousness against 
this violation of the Akhand Hindusthan resolution. This 
dubious role of the Congress was not a whit less equivocal 
than the role played by it in regard to the Communal Award. 
Indeed, History was thus repeated once more in a worse form ! 

Savarkar could not tolerate the sight of the poisonous 
dagger of provincial secession aimed at the heart of 
Hindusthan. He was perturbed at the tragedy that was being 
enacted on the political platform of India. To Savarkar, unity 
and integrity of his Motherland and Holyland was an article 
of faith, a pious and precious sentiment. The Liberal leaders 
like Sri Srinivas Sastri and Sir V. N. Chandavarkar and many 
other straightforward men, who perceived the danger to the 
National integrity, fuUy supported Savarkar and sounded 
a note of caution to the country. It was clear nov^ that the 
goal of the Congress was the independence of a Divided India 
and the goal of the Hindu Mahasabha and Savarkar was the 
independence of India and the integrity of India. 

Savarkar was restless. He was striving to avert the tragedy. 

1 Hindusthan Standard, dated 8-8-1942. 


He even tried to focus world attention on the dreadful 
tragedy that was being enacted in India. The outside world 
expressed surprise at the Mahasabha opposition to the Cripps 
proposal. Savarkar, therefore, cabled to the editor, New York 
Times, to acquaint the outside world with the righteous stand 
of the Hindu Mahasabha that “The Hindu Mahasabha 
partially accepted the Cripps proposal and welcomed the 
promised grant of equal co-partnership with Britain ; but the 
scheme made it all conditional on granting freedom to 
provinces to secede and break up India into a number of 
independent States with no central Indian Government.” 
Savarkar concluded : “ Americans in particulai*, who went to 
w^ar even with their kith and kin on the question of secession 
and saved the integrity of their union, cannot fail to appreciate 
and uphold the Hindu opposition to the vivisection of India. 
Hindus are prepared to guarantee legitimate safeguards to the 
minorities, but can never tolerate their efforts to create a State 
within a State as the League of Nations put it.” Savarkar 
also warned Sir Stafford Cripps not to depend upon any 
Congress-League pact as it would not be binding on the Hindu 


Mahasabha Marches On 


The Akhand Hindusllian movement was gradually gaining 
ground. Savarkar’s voi. was capturing the imagination of 
the people. Congress iri'u- nce with the ma.sses was at a 
low ebb. Even in Englan-i and in America the people and 
the Press evinced interest and eagerness to learn more 
about the Hindu Mahasabha and its movement, its organiza- 
tion and its leaders. The Hindu Mahasabha was defeating 
Congress candidates in Municipal, Local and District Local 
Board elections and bye-elections to the Legislatures. In 1941 
the Congress suffered a significant defeat in Maharashtra when 
Sri Jamnadas Mehta, supported by the Hindu Mahasabha, 
defeated the Congress candidate in the election to the Central 
Assembly. In Bengal where the opposition to the Mahasabha 
came from the Forward Block, the Congress being then a 
dwindling force there, Sri Ashutosh Lahiri, the General 
Secretary of the Hindu Mahasabha, defeated the Forward 
Block candidate in the election to the Provincial Assembly. 
Sri K. C. Neogy, supported by the Hindu Mahasabha, defeated 
the Forward Block candidate, Sri Mujumdar, in Bengal in 
the bye-election to the Central Assembly when a seat fell 
vacant due to the disappearance of Subhas Bose in January 

At Khamgaon, Patna, Monghyr, Katihar (Bihar) , Suri 
(Bengal) , Poona, Mahad, Bhagalpur and Sholapur, there were 
glowing and growing successes for the Hindu Mahasabha in 
the elections ; so much so that at some of these places there 
was complete debacle for the Congress candidates and 
Congressmen withdrew their candidature or fought elections 
in a personal capacity in order to save the prestige of the 
Congress in case of their defeats. In Assam the Congress 
could not even put up a candidate for a bye-election to the 
Central Assembly and the Hindu Mahasabha candidate, 


Sri Anang Mohan Dam, was returned unopposed to the 
Central Assembly. 

The Hindu Mahasabha observed the 10th of May 1942. as 
an anti-Pakistan and independence day with intense 
enthusiasm at the behest of President Savarkar. Hundreds 
of meetings were held all over Hindusthan, in almost all 
capital cities, Taluka and District towns, protesting against 
the principle of provincial self-determination and Pakistan. 
But strangely enough, while the Muslim Leaguers were 
allowed along with Rajaji to propagate the cause of Paki.stan 
all over India even through public meetings, the Hindu- 
sabhaites denouncing the vivisection of India were arrested 
and gaoled at many places including Nellore, Patna and Arrah 
(Bihar) for holding anti-Pakistan meetings on that day. 

History would record that Savarkar was the only great 
leader who raised his mighty voice against the internal 
disintegrating, disrupting forces as well as the external ones 
threatening India. Not to speak of the Congress leaders, but 
even Gandhiji assumed a dubious role blowing hot and cold in 
the same breath. The virtual dictator of the Congress 
flattered himself v/ith the belief that many pious Muslims had 
remarked that he was a better Muslim than most Muslims.^ 
The symbol of truth and the apostle of Indian democracy 
advised his countrymen : “ Let them (the Hindus) say to the 
Mussalmans ‘ have as big a share of the spoils as you want : 
we will be content to serve you - The man of justice, 
equality and universal love further said : “ For as a Hindu, I 
should know that I have nothing to lose even if the referee 
gave the Muslims a majority of seats in every province.”® 
On the one hand the messenger of God stated : “ Personally I 
do not want anything which the Muslims oppose,” and on the 
other hand the god-fearing man in him declared : “ I consider 
the vivisection of India to be a sin.” * In one voice he said : 

“ Muslim rule is equivalent to Indian Rule. I would any day 
prefer Muslim Rule to British Rule ;” and in another he said : 

“ For it (proposed Pakistan) means the undoing of centuries 
of work done by numberless Hindus and Muslims to live 

1 Mahatma Gandhi, To the Hindus and Muslims, p. 371. 

2 Ibid., p. 303. 

8 Ibid., p. 133. 

* Ibid., p. 454. 


together as one nation.” ^ He once believed : “ Partition 
means a patent imtruth,” ^ and even did not falter to say : 
“ Vivisect me before you vivisect India.” ® 

Lastly, Gandhiji openly declared : “ Needless to say, the 
Congress can never seek the assistance of the British forces to 
resist the vivisection. It is the Muslims who will impose 
their will by force, singly or with British assistance, on an 
unresisting India. If I can carry the Congress with me, I 
would not put the Muslira- to the trouble of using force. I 
would be ruled by them, f< it would still be Indian Rule.” 

Thus when Gandhiji was so uncertain about the unity and 
integrity of India, his generals like the guileless, sincere and 
enhghtened Dr. Rajendra Prasad naturally searched for the 
economic safety and stability and political definition of 
Pakistan instead of opposing the very idea of Pakistan ! 
Dr. Rajendra Prasad honestly and bookishly believed that 
the riddle would be solved in a Round Table Conference by 
the policy of give and take. For all his life, his party had 
given up just claims and ground and taken nothing in return. 
So why should his party not have such a compromise even 
on this issue, he seemed to think ! 

Pandit Nehru declared earnestly that none would come in 
the way of self-determination of the Muslims after 
Independence. In his article specially written for the New 
York Times Magazine dated the 19th of July 1942, Pandit 
Nehru said ; “ There is now a demand on the part of some 
Muslims for partition of India, and it must be remembered 
that this demand is hardly four years old. Few take it 
seriously.” ® If this is not an example of lack of realism, of 
a deceptive self-complacency and of an inherent incapacity to 
probe the depth of political problems, what else is it ? 
Gandhiji influenced many men, but all his influence thus 
sided with the Pakistanis in effect. It was such a formidable 
opposition from the adversaries of the unity of India against 
which Savarkar with his conviction and courage had to stand 
up for the cause of Akhand Hindusthan. A man of supreme 

^ Mahatma Gandhi, To the Hindus and Muslims, p. 415. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Ibid., p. 438. 

*lbid., p. 410. 

3 Quoted by Beverley Nichols in Verdict on India, p. 187. 


courage, superb insight and spotless sincerity alone always 
irrevocably stands by a great ideal and Savarkar did it. 

In the middle of May 1942, John Paton Davis, Second 
Secretary of the Embassy of the U.S.A., also attached to 
the General Commanding Army Forces, interviewed Savarkar. 
He expressed his opinion to the President of the Hindu 
Mahasabha that the American Press and the people were 
realizing the rising influence of the Hindu Mahasabha ! In 
the first week of June 1942, an American Negro leader saw 
Savarkar, gave him an idea of the Ethiopean movement in 
America, and narrated to Savarkar the disabilities the 
Negroes were undergoing in the U.S.A. In the second week 
of the month came the well-known journalist-author Louis 
Fischer, to interview Savarkar. He talked to Savarkar as 
if he had accepted a brief on behalf of the Muslim League 
whose Fuehrer he had met the previous day. Without any 
thought he asked Savarkar : “ Mr. Savai'kar, why don’t you 
concede Pakistan ? ” Although the tone of the interviewer 
was impulsive and the manner quite irritating, Savarkar 
quietly asked Mr. Louis Fischer : “ Why don’t you grant 
Negrostan in the U.S.A. ? ” The American journalist rashly 
gave him an answer which Savarkar expected him to give, for 
Mr. Fischer said, “ That will be anti-national ! ” “ Exactly, 

Mr. Fischer, granting Pakistan will be anti-national and un- 
democratic in India as would be the granting of Negrostan in 
the U.S.A. ! ” answered back Savarkar. 

Mr. Louis Fischer did not like the defeat in points of 
arguments and persisted more vigorously than before : “ But 
you must not forget Panipat, if you refuse Pakistan to the 
Muslims ! ” Instantly Savarkar reminded Mr. Fischer of the 
debacle in Dunkirk and Crete. The interview lost its charm 
and Mr. Fischer had to listen to perturbed and fiery Savarkar 
armed with irrefutable arguments for his stand. Mr. Fischer 
was like a fish out of water and never in any future articles 
did he mention the name of Savarkar. Savarkar’s truth was 
unpalatable to his mind freshly acquainted with the soft pro- 
Muslim attitude of the Congress leaders. The American 
journalist did not know that he was crossing swords with the 
greatest intellectual giant of Maharashtra. Where intellectual 
giants like Sir Stafford Cripps and Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru 


were swept away, how could a journalist like Mr. Louis 
Fischer hold his ground ? 

In the same month, Mr. L. Brander, a representative of the 
British Broadcasting Corporation, London, had an interview 
with Savarkar, and gained a first-hand knowledge cind informa- 
tion about the policy and principles of the Hindu Mahasabha. 

In the month of May 1942, a Chinese Muslim Mission toured 
India, visiting the chief Muslim majority cities. States and 
Muslim strongholds, and interviewed the highlights of the 
Pakistani Movement including the Nizam. The Chinese 
Muslim Mission sent a message to the Nellore Muslims and 
openly promised help to the Indian Muslims after the end of 
the war. Savarkar reluctantly exposed the hidden motives 
of the Chinese Muslim leaders who were wooing the Indian 
Muslims and imbibing the virus of Pakistani Movement. He 
also reminded the people of the recent visits of the Chinese 
Muslims to Turkastan and Egypt to initiate themselves into 
the Pan-Islamic mysteries and how they, on reaching India 
had seen Jinnah and the Leaguers, and how they had aban- 
doned their Chinese national dress and paraded the Fez. 
Savarkar was of the opinion that if the motives of the Chinese 
Muslims were not checked in time, they would develop in 
China in the near future separatist tendencies, and would act 
as a pair of scissors on China. 

At this juncture in Sind the Hur menace developed into 
a national calamity on the Hindu life, honour and property. 
Savarkar therefore strongly urged the Governor of Sind to 
stamp out the atrocious activities of the Hurs by any and 
every means. 

Although routed in the A.I.C.C. meeting at Allahabad, 
Rajaji had now opened a Pakistan Front in the Madras 
Presidency. Rajaji declared that he had voiced loudly what 
the Congress High Conunand only whispered. No less a 
responsible politician than Dr. Khan Sahib had also averred 
that the Congress High Conunand had decided at Ramgarh 
not to oppose any province or provinces forming a separate 
independent State or States in India. Savarkar could not 
tolerate this. He reaffirmed his belief that Rajaji “ was the 
only means of the design of the Congress High Command who 
were feeling the pulse of India and injecting the pro-Pakistani 


virus into the body politic of India. They were playing a 
double game. If Rajaji failed, it was his own failure. If he 
succeeded, the success was theirs.” Savarkar then appealed 
to the Madras Province to lose no time in counteracting the 
nefarious movement of Rajaji by starting a counter propa- 
ganda for the unity and integrity of Hindxisthan as a nation 
and a State. 

In 1942 Sir Mirza Ismail was appointed Prime Minister of 
Jaipur. Savarkar had numerous complaints against his past 
deeds as a premier in Mysore. He therefore said that even 
if Sir Mirza Ismail was a highly efficient administrator, he 
would oppose the appointment of Sir Mirza Ismail as the 
latter during the Dewanship of Mysore had silently packed 
the police, military and other important services with 
Muslims. Savarkar reiterated his belief that to give more 
to the Muslims than what was due to the Muslims on the basis 
of merits or population was nothing but robbing the Hindus 
of their legitimate, economic and political rights. 

After the tragic failure of the Cripps Mission, the Viceroy 
expanded his Executive Council partly with a desire to meet 
the popular demand for Indianization of the Executive Council 
by appointing distinguished politicians of administrative 
experience and statesmen of proved ability and high calibre 
like Sir C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar, Sir J. P. Srivastava — a 
member of the Working Committee of the Hindu Mahasabha, 
— Sir Jogendra Singh and Dr. Ambedkar. 

Savarkar appreciated this move of the Viceroy in spite of 
some glaring defects inherent in it and declared that Govern- 
ment must offer voluntarily so complete political freedom and 
power to India as to render it impossible for any enemy of 
Britain to offer anything more alluring to lead India astray ! 
Savarkar congratulated Dr. Ambedkar, Sir J. P. Srivastava, 
Sir C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar and Sir Jogendra Singh. Sir 
Jogendra Singh said in his reply to Savarkar that he trusted 
that he would continue to enjoy the confidence of the Hindu 
community which, he added, was no less dear to him than his 
own community. Sir C. P. Ramaswami, too, thanked Savarkar 
for his congratulations which he specially appreciated. 

mahasabha marches on 



On a pressing request from the Hindu Sanghatanist workers 
and organizations like the Hindu Sikh Nava Javan Sabha, 
Arya Samaj, Mahaveer Dal, Sanatan Dharma Mandal, Savar- 
kar visited Kashmir in the middle of July 1942. It was his 
first visit to Kashmir. On his way to Shrinagar Savarkar was 
accorded grand receptions and addresses of welcome on 
various railway stations including Amritsar, Lahore, and 
Vazirabad. In the Presidential party were Lala Ganpat Rai 
of Delhi, the Sikh leader — Master Tara Singh, and Capt. 

At Jammu on July 11, 1942, a very enthusiastic welcome 
was given to Savarkar by several institutions and organiza- 
tions and nearly forty thousand Hindus and Sikhs participated 
in the procession taken out in honour of Savarkar. Next day 
Savarkar presided over the Hindu-Sikh Conference and 
addressed a mammoth meeting. After going through a 
crowded programme for three days in Jammu, he left for 
Srinagar and reached the capital of Kashmir on July 14, 
During his stay a host of deputationists, delegations and inter- 
viewers waited upon him. He addressed tliree public meet- 
ings one of which was arranged exclusively for ladies attended 
by over twenty thousand ladies. He was presented with an 
address of welcome by the ladies of the land of splendour, 
sun and beauty. Next day he was taken out in another 
procession in spite of his indifferent health to the banks of 
the river Vitasta of Vedic and ancient fame. Experiencing 
the great waves of emotion and enthusiasm of the people, the 
spirit of Savarkar defied his frailty and he galvanized the vast 
multitude with his message and mission. To thousands of 
Hindus Savarkar has been an incarnation of God. At that 
far end of Bhndusthan the Hindus evoked his blessings. 
Thousands touched his feet with devotion and kissed his 
hands in spite of his fervent disapproval of these things. Such 
thrilling scenes of devotion and deification were a common 
feature of all of Savarkar’s tours. And so was it in 
Kashmir. Savarkar left the capital of the Indian Switzerland 
despite public and private pressing requests to prolong his 



stay. Restlessness and not rest is an outslai\d'mg eharactfi" f 

of Savarkar. 

On his way hack Savarkar made a brief ball alRuv aU-,^v 
A big ret'epiion arranged there was abandoned but T 

Sttm^ed H grand party given by Sjt Sitamn m hL honour. 
ft (r'3c gl Rawalpindi that he told the press on the nth juiy 

^ UWvrin^ under two fundamental error.s, viz. 

u 4 t .verksting “'’y 

vvouUl U.S ler^ d^.,„ancl for Indian Indt;pendence 

allaying the Muslim hunger for pouer, Savarkar said, 
Fakistan would put them into a wore effective position to 
make further demands. He further declared that the Hindu 

Mahasabha would never assent to seJJ its birthright, the 
integrity of India as a nation and a State for the mess of 
pottage of the united Indian demand for Quit India. 

The Working Committee of the Congress at its Wardha 
sitting by this time passed a resolution and agreed to the 
stationing of alhed troops in India to ward off Japanese 
aggression. The two opposite stands taken by the Congress 
were inconsistent in Savarkar’s opinion, and therefore he said 
that the Congress indulged in tomfoolery when it said to the 
British Government : “ Quit India but keep your armies 
here.” And indeed this meant reinstallation of the British 

military rule over India in its much worse form. 

On his return to Bombay from the Kashmir tour, Savarkar 
issued a statement on July 27, replying to the president of 
Jammu and Kashmir Conference, a pro-Pakistani Muslim 
body which had presented him with compliments for his clear- 
cut and well-defined views as contrasted with other nationalist 
leaders. Since his democratic political convictions admitted 
of no half measures or mental reservation, the memorandum 
appealed to Savarkar to say whether he was prepared to 
apply his popular principle of the majority rule to the problem 
of Kashmir, and support the claim of the Muslim majority 
rule in Kashmir ! The memorandum in fact was submitted 
to him when he entered Kashmir and he had boldly and 
fearlessly replied to the same in an open meeting. But for 
clarification and assertion, he issued this statement on the 
problem of Kashmir. Savarkar was not a slogan-ridden 



leader. He fearlessly, frankly and squarely answered that his 
principle laid it down that all citizens who owed undivided 
loyalty and allegiance to the Indian Nation and State would 
be treated with perfect equality. They would, he declared, 
share duties and obligations equally in common, irrespective 
of caste, creed or religion ai representation would either be 
on the basis <jf one man 1 1 e vote or in proportion to the 
population strength in case ■ ' f eparate electorates, and public 
services would go by merit 

But those who contributed, Savarkar affirmed, to the 
Pakistani creed or wished to secede from India had no right to 
the democratic principle of representation in proportion to 
the population. The Muslims of Kashmir had never publicly 
or privately declared their consent to apply the same principle 
of the majority rule to the States of Bhopal and Hyderabad. 
Further, in Savarkar’s view although the Hindus were in a 
minority in Kashmir, they were a part of the national majo- 
rity from whom they were not cut off ! Thus the false 
democrats in Kashmir were exposed by Savarkar. Of course, 
in their slogans for the majority rule in Kashmir, they were 
supported in no small measure by Pandit Nehru whose 
attitude towards the Kashmir Maharajah and antipathy 
towards the Hindus were proverbial ! 

On the last day of July 1942, Savarkar tendered his resigna- 
tion of the Presidentship of the Hindu Mahasabha. Owing 
to the continuous strain for the last five years of the Presiden- 
tial duties and the whirlwind propaganda, Savarkar badly 
needed rest. He now thought it fit to shift the burden and 
responsibility to some stronger and broader shoulders and 
entrust the leadership of the Hindu Mahasabha to worthy 
hands. Reviewing the work and prestige of the Hindu 
Mahasabha in his statement declaring his resignation, he said, 
“The Hindu has regained once more his national soul and 
self-consciousness. Witness for example what Prof. Coupland 
admits in his latest work. The Cripps Mission, published by 
the Oxford University Press. ‘The Hindu Mahasabha has 
come to be a militant organization of the Hindus and has been 
growing fast in membership and influence.’ Sir Stafford 
Cripps has himself written to me that so influential an organi- 
zation as the Hindu Mahasabha cannot be left out on any 


account when constitutional questions arise. But the most 
eloquent compliment that can be desired is paid to the Hindu 
Mflhasahha by Mr. Jinnah when he said at Madras in his 
Presidential Addi-ess, ‘ The Hindu Mahasabha is an absolutely 
incorrigible and hopeless body, and I can have nothing to do 
with it Savarkar further asked the Hindus in his parting 
message to ‘Hinduise all politics and militarize Hindudom.’ 
He also promised that he would ever continue as a soldier in 
its rank and file and serve the Hindu Mahasabha in any 
capacity it wanted him to do in furthering the cause of the 

His resignation was a stunning news to the Hindu Sangha- 
tanist public in India. Hundreds of letters and telegrams 
soon poured in Savarkar Sadan urging Savarkar not to leave 
them in the lurch. The Bengal Provincial Hindu Sabha in 
its message said : “ Amidst the universal confusion and chaos 
you have been the one beacon-light to Hindudom and so long 
as you would be the President of the All-India Hindu Maha- 
sabha, the whole of Hindusthan believed that the calamity 
of Pakistan would never befall their Motherland.” Dr. Shyama 
Prasad Mookerjee wired to Savarkar that his lead was essen- 
tial in the prevailing national crisis. Meherchand Khanna 
from the N.-W.F.P. stated that Savarkar’s guidance was 
essential to India at that juncture. In a frantic appeal Sir J. 
P. Srivastava said that Savarkeir’s resignation had come as a 
great shock to the Hindu Sanghatanists all over India, and 
would injure the Hindu cause. Rai Bahadur Harischandra 
of Delhi wrote to Savarkar : “ It is entirely correct that but 
for your energy, determination and constant hard work, 
nobody would have cared or even cared to know about the 
Hindu Mahasabha in this country and its condition would 
have been as it had been more than a decade before you 
resumed the control.” The late Raja Maheshwar Dayal from 
U.P. said : “ You have always risked and sacrificed all even 
at the cost of health. You cannot refuse to guide the nation 
at this critical jimcture.” And it was a fact that only Savar- 
kar could work the miracle. It is the man of strong will, says 
Swami Vivekananda, that throws, as it were, a halo round 
him and brings all other people to the same state of vibration 
as he has in his own mind. When a powerful individual 


appears, adds Vivekananda, his personality infuses his thought 
into us. This was true to a letter in respect of Savarkar. 

Despite the fact that there were great patriots of long 
service, great sacrifice and great learning like Devata Swamp 
Bhai Parmananda, revolutionary leaders of great sacrifice 
like Sri Ashutosh Lahiri, and representative Hindu leaders 
of long service and statesmanship like Dr. Moonje in the 
Hindu Mahasabha, Savarkar alone could vibrate the entire 
India soon after he entei od the Hindu Mahasabha. In a vast 
country like India, to be a -cader in the true sense of the term 
is a colossal feat of physical and mental capacity. This is given 
only to a few. Even the Congress organization during the 
span of sixty years of its life of service could hardly produce 
magnetic personalities who could be counted on one’s fingers. 
They were Surendranath, Gokhale, Gandhiji, Jawaharlal Nehru 
and Subhas. Gandhiji was all political organization, and Nehru 
all political energy for the Congress. But Tilak and Savarkar 
were born leaders. Their class was original. Such leaders 
bring forth original thoughts. They make organizations great 
unlike others who are made great by organizations which 
they cling to. Subhas Bose was a born leader, but not a man 
of original ideas. The role and responsibility which Gandhiji 
and Nehru played and bore in the Congress, which arose over 
the taints and toils of Dadabhai. Surendranath, Gokhale, 
Tilak and Das, fell on Savarkar alone in the Hindu Mahasabha. 
Savarkar had to begin on a clean slate. There was no other 
electric personality like Pandit Nehm in the Hindu Maha- 
sabha to strengthen the hands of Savarkar. Dr. Mookerjee 
was once considered to be so by many, but he eventually 
broke the backbone of the Hindu Mahasabha when he himself 
withdrew his candidature at the time of the elections to the 
Central Assembly in 1945, and ultimately even resigned the 
membership of the Working Committee of the Hindu Maha- 
sabha in 1948 ! 


The resignation of Savarkar from the Presidentship of the 
Hindu Mahasabha was disastrous and shocking to the forces 
of Akhand Hindusthan in view of the grave situation that 


was developing in Indian politics. The Individual Civil Dis- 
having failed to achiavn any practical 

purpose or attract any attention, Gandhijl was obbged to call 
it off. The Congress was fast approaching a critical situation. 
Its virtual dictator, Gandhiji, prepared for a short, swift and 
final struggle for India’s freedom. And the All -India Congress 
Committee awaited marching orders for an open rebellion 
called the Quit India Movement. 

The Liberals deprecated the proposed Congress struggle as 
inopportune. Dr. Ambedkar despaired of it, and Mr. Jinnah 
construed it as a direct challenge to Islam ! According to 
Savarkar, the declaration of “ Quit India bag and baggage ” 
was attended with colossal absurdity. Gandhiji wished the 
Britishers to quit India, but agreed to the stationing of their 
army in India ! On the eve of the August Revolution the late 
Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru declared that none had the right to 
gamble with the lives and safety of 400 million people. Though 
he was not a believer, he said, in any sepai'atist cry, he felt 
the necessity of coming to a settlement with the minorities ; 
that the British should declare that India would have the 
fullest measure of self-government within a year after the 
war ; that coalition Governments should be formed in the 
provinces ; that Gandhiji, Jinnah, Savarkar and the leaders 
of all parties should meet in a conference and come to a settle- 
ment for the period of the war and set up a machinery for the 
framing of a constitution for the future and that the Congress 
should abandon the contemplated struggle.^ Lokanayak Aney, 
then a Member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council, appealed 
to Gandhiji and the Congress to convene a conference of lead- 
ing political parties in the country with a view to presenting 
a united demand for freedom. Aney said in his speech at 
the Tilak Mandir, a week before the outbreak of the August 
Revolution : “ Tilak was a firm believer in the integrity and 
indivisibility of India. This was amply shown by his attitude 
towards the plan of partitioning Bengal.”^ But with all 
this Aney’s subsequent attitude was quite inconsistent with 
Tilak’s teachings. What must have been the magnitude of 
the agonies caused to the departed soul of Tilak when his 

1 The Mahratta, dated 7-8-1942. 


brilliant lieutenant, Aney, afterwards wished Jinnah and 
Gandhiji success in the travail of Pakistan ! And what mental 
torments Aney’s Guru and prophet must have undergone 
when his worthy disciple congratulated Mr. Jinnah on his 
becoming the first Governor-General of Pakistan carved out 
of the vivisected and bleeding Motherland of Tilak ! 

Savarkar’s attitude to the Quit India movement was clear. 
In his famous speech before the Shanivarwada, Poona, on 
August 2, 1942, Savarkar complimented the Congress on its 
having come round to the view of the Hindu Mahasabha that 
communal unity was not a sine qua non for the winning of 
freedom. He also declared that the Hindu Mahasabha would 
join the Congress in the contemplated struggle provided that 
the Congress solemnly guaranteed that it would irrevocably 
stand by the unity and integrity of India, that the Congress 
would not make any pact with the anti-national Muslim 
League, and that the Congress would accept Hindi with the 
Nagari Script as the Lingua Franca of India. Savarkar, how- 
ever, put it tersely on the strength of the unquestionable proof 
he had in his possession that the leader in Gandhiji had 
always been vacillating and further said that it was his 
considered opinion that Gandhiji would unquestionably agree 
not only to one Pakistan in India but to many. Then ex- 
pressing his unfailing belief in the militarization policy of the 
Hindu Mahasabha, Savarkar said that if Gandhiji pinned his 
faith on his fast to secure his demands, it would not be heeded 
at all by the British amidst the fire and booming of the war. 
This historic speech of Savarkar was considered to be so 
important that even the British Broadcasting Station broad- 
cast it from London. 

Although the terms laid down by Savarkar for co-operation 
were reasonable, the Congress and its virtual dictator stub- 
bornly refused to have anything to do with these conditions. 
Instead, the A.I.C.C. in its fateful Bombay session on August 
7, 1942, actually went on placating the Muslims more by 
declaring that the residuary powers would be vested in the 
Provincial Governments in addition to the right of self- 
determination given to the Provinces to secede from the 
Central State. The climax was reached when Gandhiji, the 
de facto ruler of the Congress, in an authoritative letter to 


Mr. Jinnah, said in all sincerity : “ Congress will have no 
objection to the British Government transferring all the 
powers it today exercises, to the Muslim League on behalf of 
the whole of India including the so-called Indian India. The 
Congress will not only not obstruct any Government which the 
Muslim League may form, but even join the Government.” 

It is quite clear that in view of this anti-national attitude 
of the Congress towards the national majority, Savarkar did 
well in not identifying the Hindu Mahasabha with the so- 
called all-out struggle of the Congress as its price and inevi- 
table consequences would have been and were in fact after- 
wards the vivisection of India ! Besides, Savarkar was of the 
opinion that in respect of tactical questions, the timing, the 
ways, the means, the methods of revolution and above all, 
the effectiveness which could depend on sane calculations, 
there was no elaborate planning in advance by the Congress 
at all. The truth of this remark was realized by many 
Congress leaders afterwards. Savarkar was not for mere 
mass upheaval. The historian-leader wanted a pre-planned 
revolution which would attempt to gain the support of the 
military. For, no revolution ever succeeded without the 
backing of the army. This reality was never visualized by 
the Congress, nor did it even dream of it. 

Gandhiji was to launch his all-out struggle for the over- 
throw of the foreign domination after the A.I.C.C. approval 
of his plan on the 8th August 1942. But all the Congress 
leaders including Gandhiji were arrested the same night. As 
a result of their arrest, popular discontent, mass disturbances 
and their rigorous suppression by the British Government 
threw the country into a turmoil. Post offices and railway 
stations were damaged and destroyed by the Congress under- 
grovmd workers. Telegraph, railway and telephone wires 
were cut. Rails were removed and a few small bridges were 
wrecked by youths actuated by patriotic motives. 

Yet the marked feature of the struggle was that it was 
predominantly Hindu and practically the whole of the Muslim 
sections, Muslim localities, Muslim majority towns and cities, 
the provinces of Assam, Orissa, the Punjab, N.-W.F.P., and 
comparatively Sind remained aloof from this revolution. 
Mr. Jinnah emphasised the Muslim aloofness from this 

“■ But t’lis ‘ Quit India ’ must nol end in ‘ Split India 
said Savarkar, addressing a mammoth meeting belore 
the Shanivarwada, INama, on August z, 194^ 

mass meeting hearing Savarkar in pin-drop silence at Bombay 


movement when he declared in unmistakable terms that the 
Muslims were opposed to the August revolution, and urged 
the Muslims to keep away from it. He also warned the 
August revolutionaries not to meddle with Muslim affairs 
and provoke them into any counter-revolution. 

Savarkar’s stand was both patriotic and practical. In a 
statement issued on the 10th of August he said : “ The 

inevitable has happened. The foremost and patriotic leaders 
of the Congress including Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru 
and hundreds of other leaders of the Congress party are 
arrested and imprisoned. The personal sympathies of the 
Hindu Sanghatanists go with them in their sufferings for a 
patriotic cause.” He strongly condemned the drastic measures 
adopted by the Government to quell the disturbances, and 
warned the British Government that nothing but an imme- 
diate proclamalion by the British Parliament granting India 
the status of a completely free and equal partner in the Indo- 
British Commonwealth with rights and duties equal with 
those of Great Britain herself and its immediate realization 
would solve the problem.” He openly sympathized with the 
patriotic struggle of the Congress Hindus, and their sufferings 
and the untold calamities from detention to death they faced 
and underwent. But despite the malicious and mad propa- 
ganda against Savarkar by the Congress press for his not 
joining the revolutionary struggle, his foresight and judgment 
could not drive him headlong and blindfold into the struggle, 
the outcome of which, he conscientiously believed, would be 
detrimental to the interests and integrity of India. Nay, it 
was his firm conviction that under the lead of Gandhiji, the 
Congress Quit India movement was bound to end in a split 
India message. So he said he could not make a common cause 
with the Congress on a wrong issue that would ultimately 
lead to national dissolution and devastation, and he could not 
adopt a line of action for the sake of a united front. He pointed 
out that even the Congress and Gandhiji never made a united 
front with the revolutionaries or with the Sanghatanists at 
Hyderabad or at Bhagalpvu* although the issues then were of 
national importance and interests. For Gandhiji and the 
Congress in their own way believed sincerely that the line of 


action adopted by the revolutionaries and the Hindu Sangha- 
tanists was detrimental to the interests of the nation. 

Savarkar now exhorted fervently the Hindu Sanghatanists 
who happened to be Members of the Cabinet, Local bodies, 
Legislatures, Councils, Government Committees, those serv- 
ing in the Army, Air Force, Navy and those working in 
ammunition factories not to be led away by emotion and 
abandon their posts. He advised them to stick to their 
various posts, and conserve their energies for the impending 
real fight for the national integrity and interests. He warned 
them that those very Congressmen would ultimately 
endanger the national integrity of India, and their Quit India 
movement would thus end in the vivisection of India. 

After the outbreak of the August revolution, Savarkar’s 
views were heard with more concern and interest throughout 
the coimtry and in foreign lands as well. Although Savarkar 
was not in favour of the line of thought behind the Congress 
struggle, he was ever insistent on the demand for Indian 
freedom. He sent a cable to the British press warning the 
British public that the British bayonets might suppress the 
violent outburst of popular discontent ; but “ bayonets can 
never appease national discontent or remove its cause.” He 
further stressed in his statement that India’s willing co- 
operation could only be secured if the British Parliament 
made an immediate declaration to the effect that “(1) India is 
raised to the position of a free nation in the Indo-British 
Commonwealth having equal status with that of Britain 
herself, (2) during the war period this declaration should be 
immediately implemented by Indianization of the Central 
Executive Council whose decisions would be binding on the 
Viceroy with the only exception of matters military and 
strategical in connection with suppression of any internal 
anarchy and defending India against external invasion, (3) 
military forces should be fully Indianized as early as possible, 
(4) Provincial Governors should also have Executive Coim- 
cils similar to the Central, and (5) after the end of the war, 
a conference should be immediately convened to frame a 
national constitution for India so as to give full effect to the 
declaration referred to above.” 

This appeal issued by Savarkar to the British public, writes 


the London Correspondent of the Bombay Chronicle in his 
despatch of August 26, 1942, was “prominently featured by 
the leading newspapers like the Times, Manchester Guardian, 
Daily Herald, News Chronicle, and the Yorkshire Post without 
comment.” The correspondent proceeds : “ The appeal has 
been the topic of discussion among a section of the political 
leaders here and it is felt that an early initiative on the 
part of the British Government on the lines suggested by 
Mr. Savarkar is well worth making and with goodwill and 
co-operation on both sides, a satisfactory way out of the 
present Indian deadlock may yet be evolved.” The correspon- 
dent concludes : “ Mr. Savarkar’s statement also came up for 
informal discu.ssion among the Indian residents in London 
who gathered last night in a public meeting of the Indian 
League in the Central Hall.” 

But Mr. Winston Churchill, the greatest imperiahst under 
the sun, was not there to liquidate the British Empire. On 
September 10, 1942, he assured the British Parliament in a 
statement on India that there was nothing serious about the 
Indian situation to cause them any worry and added that 
there were more British forces in India than there had ever 
been. Savarkar could not tolerate the British Premier’s boast 
which he uttered in utter contempt for Indian national aspira- 
tions. So Savarkar reminded Mr. Churchill of the fate of 
Nebuchadnezzar, the mighty king of Babylon, who spoke in 
a similar boastful tone, while standing on the precipice of his 
mighty pride and power, and met his doom. Savarkar further 
remarked that the future of India did not lie in the lap of 
Mr. Churchill, but lay in the laps of war gods. 

Though the British propaganda had duped Americans into 
believing the hoax to a very great extent, it became quite 
impossible for the British Government to misrepresent any 
longer the deteriorated Indian political situation and the dead- 
lock in foreign countries. At this juncture the Muslim 
League resolved to send its deputation to foreign countries 
to propagate the ideal of Pakistan. Savarkar therefore 
resolved to coimteract the Muslim League propaganda in 
foreign countries by sending a Hindu Mahasabha deputation 
to America and other countries to acquaint those covmtries 
with the political struggle and problem of India, and to foil the 


false British propaganda and expose its hollowness which had 
misled the world opinion into believing that the Cripps Mis- 
sion had failed not so much owing to unwillingness of the 
British to part with power as to internecine conflicts of the 
Indian people. 

The idea of sending the deputation was subsequently 
dropped as neither the Muslim League members were, nor 
Rajaji was allowed to go abroad. However, the Hindu Maha- 
sabha leaders decided to set up a committee of the Hindu 
Mahasabha to conduct negotiations with all important Indian 
political parties and personalities on the three outstanding 
national demands which the Hindu Mahasabha had framed. 
The Committee consisted of Savarkar, the President, 
Dr. Mookerjee, Dr. Moonje, Sri N. C. Chatterjee, Raja 
Maheshwar Dayal, Rai Bahadur Meherchand Khanna and 
Prof. V. G. Deshpande. Tlie national demands were as fol- 
lows : (1) the immediate recognition of India by the British 
Parliament as an independent nation, (2) national coalition 
government with full powers during the war period excepting 
the military portfolio, so far as the operative part was con- 
cerned, (3) the holding of a constitution-framing Assembly as 
soon as the war ceased. Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee was 
the prominent figure that moved with interest and vigour so 
much so that the committee evoked a great wave of enthuiasm 
all over India and representatives of the British, the 
American, the Chinese press and also of other countries took 
interest in the developments, and gave wide publicity in their 
home countries to the move and efforts of the Hindu 

The second All-India great organization, to quote Lord 
Devonshire, the then Under-Secretary of State for India, 
succeeded in securing an agreement on the national demands 
and a united appeal signed with unanimity by the foremost 
leaders of the Sikh brotherhood, the Presidents of the Momin 
and the Azad Muslim Conferences and other prominent 
Muslim organizations, the Presidents of the Christian Federa- 
tion, the Nationalist League, the Liberal Federation and 
the ministers of Provincial Governments of Sind, Bengal 
and Orissa. The only party that did not sign the national 
demands was the intransigent Muslim League. Savarkar 


knew the Muslim League’s attitude, and had strictly warned 
Dr. Mookeriee not to interview Mr. Jinnah unless the League 
leader himself expressed his desire to meet him. Still in his 
personal capacity, Dr. Mookerjee saw Mr. Jinnah who 
surprised him by quoting offhand extracts from Savarkar’s 
Presidential Addresses and twisting them to support his own 
demand for Pakistan. 

Savarkar forwarded the Memorandum containing these 
united demands on the 9th of October 1942, to Mr. Churchill, 
the Premier of Great Britain, urging the British Government 
to transfer power in accordance with the united national 
demands put forward by the Hindus, the Muslims and the 
Christians ; the Congress demand being more or less on the 
same lines. Mr. Churchill acknowledged through the Viceroy 
the receipt of the appeal, and appreciated Savarkar’s efforts 
in promoting unity among the several elements in Indian life, 
but observed that they had not so far resulted in any specific 
or constructive proposals enjoying the support of all the major 
parties. Savarkar then exposed the British Government by 
declaring that if the British Government could bestow the 
curse of slavery on India in spite of India’s united will, why 
did the British now bestow the blessings of freedom in spite 
of her differences and dissensions ? He also asserted that the 
British Imperialism and not India’s dissensions was the cause 
of India’s misery ! 

The Hindu Mahasabha move for the united demand for 
independence flashed into the headlines. It had a very power- 
ful effect on the public opinion in India and in foreign lands 
too. As a result of this, several press representatives and 
public men, who came to study the Indian situation in general 
from America, China and England, tried to know more closely 
the Hindu Mahasabha ideology and policy. Even American 
film-men got the Presidential office at Savarkar Sadan, 
Bombay, and its routine work screened and the news reels 
were exhibited in America. 

But the most important outcome of the move for the united 
demand for independence was that it proved beyond cavil or 
criticism the falsity of the dishonest criticism of the opponents 
of the Hindu Mahasabha that being a communal organization, 
it could not give a lead to national policy. The Hindu 


Mahasabha was in fact ever for a reasonable compromise. The 
Sind Hindu Sabha had honourably joined hands with the 
Muslim League in running a coalition Ministry. Dr. Mookerjee 
worked with Mr. Fazlul Huq successfully for a year or so in 
the Bengal Cabinet for the benefit of all communities ; but he 
resigned the post when the Governor made it impossible for 
him to serve the people with self-respect. These steps suffi- 
ciently demonstrated that the Hindu Mahasabha endeavoured 
to capture the centres of power only in public interest and 
not for the loaves and fishes of office. 

But when their monopolized reserves were utilized by the 
patriotic forces for the good of the people as best as they 
could, the Congress press, circles and leading groups shed 
crocodile tears and condemned Savarkar for being pro- 
Pakistani, and beti-aying Hindu interests as if they themselves 
had turned overnight Hindu-minded, caring for and guarding 
Hindu interests more watchfully than Savarkar did. Savarkar 
was amused with this accusation levelled by Congressmen 
and, saying that their anxiety for Hindu interest was quite 
laudable, he added ; “ The pity is that whether these very 
gentlemen would have any face to welcome their leaders 
when they would rush to the League-Headquarters after 
their release, to sign the pact for the vivisection of India, and 
sacrifice the Hindu interests with a vengeance on the altar of 
the Congress fetish of pseudo-nationalism.” What a prophecy ! 
There never was a prophet so unfailing and so unrelenting in 
his prophecies ! For all these gentlemen and journals did 
verily support, some with brazen faces and some with sunken 
heads, the anti-Hindu policy of the Congress leaders after 
their release from jails. 


The Writing on the Wall 

In the meanwhile, attempts were made by leading pro- 
Pakistani Hindus, who were outside the jails, to capture the 
Hindu Mahasabha by r. /p d^ciat and make it accept the 
Pakistan scheme at least ]vrinciple so that the Hindu Maha- 
sabha could be a handmaid Lo the Congress in supporting the 
latter’s anti-national surrender to the Pakistani forces. Sri K. 
M. Munshi had even attended a meeting of the Working 
Committee of the Hindu Mahasabha and Rajaji had almost 
captivated Dr. Mookerjee and Raja Maheshwar Dayal. In 
order to ward off that danger, expose and frustrate the 
conspiracy, Savarkar resolved not only not to resign as already 
announced by him, but also to contest the election to the 
Presidentship of the Hindu Mahasabha at the annual Session 
of the Mahasabha in 1942. This was the only time when 
Savarkar actually contested the election to the Presidentship 
of the Hindu Mahasabha ; and backed by the wisdom and 
overwhelming confidence of its electorates, Savarkar was 
almost unanimously elected to the Presidentship. The annual 
Session was held at Cawnpore in the last week of December 

In the Presidential Address, Savarkar fully dealt with the 
pros and cons of the self-determination issue, and, refuting the 
arguments put forth in its support, resolved all doubts. He 
said he stood for provincial re-distribution, but not for 
provincial self-determination. The grant of self-determination, 
he stated, to provinces to secede from the Central State would 
blow up the Central State. Savarkar further observed that 
the proposed Pakistan State would be militarily dangerous and 
hence it would be suicidal to hand over the natural frontiers 
to a hostile group. He warned that economically and 
financially the Pakistan Muslims would not starve as the cold 
and calculating pro-Pakistani Hindus guessed, but they would 
pounce upon the neighbouring Hindu territories with fire and 
fanaticism. Did not the fate of Kashmir prove this truth ? 


Some of the pro-Pakistani Hindus whispered to Savarkar that 
after the liquidation of the foreign power, Pakistan would be 
browbeaten into submission, and, therefore, as a stroke of 
statesmanship Pakistan should be granted. Savarkar replied 
that even without a State the Muslims had grown into such 
a threat ; then with a State they would be better organized 
and prepared and the wishes of the pro-Pakistani Hindus 
would thus prove to be the beggars’ horses ! Therefore he 
asked the statesmen and politicians to draw a line and say ‘ thus 
far and no further ’ at that very stage. Some, he said, foolishly 
argued that the question of Pakistan was just like the Ulster 
phase in Ireland. Replying to this argument, Savarkar said 
that Ireland had never recognized the principle of pro\nncial 
self-determination, and he declared : “ Hindusthan shall and 
must remain an integral and powerful nation and a Central 
State from the Indus to the Seas. Any movement to under- 
mine her integrity, cohesion and unity would be treated as 
treacherous and would be suppressed as any movement for 
Negrostan would be punished in the U.S.A.” 

An uncompromising and strongly worded resolution against 
the Pakistan scheme was passed at the Session. The 
frustration of the outsiders, who expected Mahasabha consent 
to Pakistan, at this was so great that the Hyde in Gandhlji 
bewailed through Rajaji : “ Even those few leaders of the 

Hindu Mahasabha, who more or less sympathized with my 
formula regarding the Hindu-Muslim Unity, feU a prey to 
crowd psychology at Cawnpore.” Mahasabhaites wondered 
who these leaders were who sympathized with Rajaji’s 
Pakistani formula. But there was no answer. When asked 
by some bold Poona youths about it. Dr. Mookerjee said that 
Rajaji might have referred to Raja Maheshwar Dayal, and in 
his turn the Raja said that it might be Dr. Mookerjee ! But 
Rajaji had referred to “ leaders ” and not to a single leader ! 
Is the answer not clear ? Thus did Savarkar prove to be the 
despair of the hybrid pro-Pakistani Hindus and a disappoint- 
ment to statesmanly Hindu politicians, who were prepared to 
accept the principle of provincial self-determination. 

Besides the Hindu Mahasabha Session, December 1942 
witnessed two other important events. In his speech before 
the Federated Chambers of Conunerce at Calcutta, Lord 


Linlithgow stressed the need for maintaining the geographical 
unity of India. Sri Meherchanda Khanna represented the 
Hindu Mahasabha opposition to the vivisection of India at the 
Pan-Pacific Conference in Arr rica where he was sent as the 
Indian representative by the wernment of India. 

On February 1, 1943, Sava: .ar visited Shirdhon, the birth- 
place of the Indian rebel lea ler, Wasudeo Balwant Phadke, 
who rose in an armed revoh a 1879 in Maharashtra and who 
breathed his last in the jail at .\den longing for the rise of a 
great Indian Republic. It was an appealing, thrilling and 
romantic sight to see the world-famous revolutionary leader 
in Savarkar paying homage to his brilliant precursor. 

Much water had flown under the bridges since then. The 
Congressites had travelled from a path of jail-seeking to a 
jail-breaking programme. The misplanned, ill-ordered August 
Revolution almost came to an end after a few weeks of violent 
disorders, mass lawlessness and mob violence. Sri Jai Prakash 
Narayan, its brilliant leader of action, admitted in his secret 
circular of January 1943, entitled “To ALL Fighters For 
Freedom the failure of the Open Rebellion. Therein he 
ascribed the failure to the absence of efficient organization of 
the national revolutionary forces and the absence of further 
programme before the people. And when it was too late, 
Jai Prakash realized and remembered “ there was our work 
in the Indian Army and in the services ! ” ^ After frustration 
there came the revelation and realization for which Savarkar 
had clamoured in 1942. Had the Congress leaders supported 
militarization and enlistment of patriotic youths in the forces ? 
Who was right, Savarkar or the Congress leaders ? Now 
realizing the magnitude of the fiasco and failure of his move- 
ment, Gandhiji began on February 10, 1943, his 21-day fast 
which was nothing less than a tactical move to force his release 
from the Aga Khan Palace. 

The whole nation was rocked. In the Indian political sky 
huge cries of ‘ Release Congress leaders ' arose. But the 
British Government remained adamant on the issue of 
Gandhiji’s release. The Non-Party leaders assembled on 
February 19, 1943, to consider the situation which arose out 

^ Government of India Publication, Congress Responsibility for the 
Disturbances^ 1942-43, p. 74. 



of Gandhiji’s fast at the Aga Khan Palace, Poona. Savarkar’s 
attitude to Gandhiji, who differed from him in political matters, 
was charitable. He wired to Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, the 
President of the Non-Party Conference, on the 20th February 
“ to issue a national appeal to Gandhiji himself to break his 
fast in the interest of the nation.” In the statement issued 
on the same day Savarkar said : “ We must all turn our faces 

from the alien and unsympathetic doors of the Viceregal Lodge 
to the bedside of Gandhiji, and entreat him to break his fast 
in the national interest to serve which he must have under- 
taken it. . . . No appeals, resignations or resolutions addressed 
to the Government can secure Gandhiji’s release. . . . This 
national appeal should be communicated^ to him without the 
loss of a single minute through any one of them who are 
allowed to visit him. His life, Gandhiji himself may realize 
by such a national appeal, is not so much his own as it is a 
national asset, a national property.” 

At Delhi, the Working Committee of the Hindu Mahasabha 
passed a resolution regarding Gandhiji’s fast wishing prayer- 
fully that Gandhiji’s spiritual strength would enable him to 
survive the ordeal, but warned those concerned not to exploit 
the fast for political ends for bringing about constitutional 
changes and ending the deadlock without consulting the Hindu 
Mahasabha which would resist any encroachment upon Hindu 
rights or any scheme undermining India’s integrity. Savarkar 
correctly sensed that if the fast was applied to resolving the 
political deadlock, it would result in a threat to the integrity 
of India. It was an historic reading of Gandhiji’s mind. And 
a year later India was stunned when Hajaji came out with his 
formula and declared that Gandhiji had fathered it actually 
during this very fast at the Aga Khan Palace, a year before, 
and had authorized him to approach Mr. Jinnah for a 
compromise on that basis ! 

Now interested groups brought pressure on the members of 
the Executive Council of the Viceroy for tendering their 
resignations as a protest against the policy of Government in 
keeping Gandhiji in internment. Savarkar was of the opinion 
that the Members of the Executive Council should not resign 
on this issue. Dr. Ambedkar and Sir J. P. Srivastava with- 
stood many hysterical appeals. But what about Aney and 


others ? Sri Aney, Sir Homi Modi, and Sri N. R. Sarkar, 
resigned, but one of them surprised all with his worldly wisdom 
full of carking anxieties for his political future ! And yet he 
was the very politician who had in a responsive manner not 
hesitated at all to concur with his colleagues in their decision 
regarding the arrest of all the national leaders including 
Gandhiji, six months earlier. It is indeed an uncommon art 
to be able to butter both sides of one's bread ! This partial 
evacuation of the Executi\^ Council created a faint smile on 
the face of Gandhiji f astir. ’ ii. the Aga Khan Palace. 

At this juncture the Muslim League was pushing the 
Pakistan proposal ahead. Its Sind League Ministry passed 
the Pakistan resolution inside the legislature. The Hindu 
Ministers of the Mahasabha persuasion opposed the resolution. 
It is worthy of note that Mr. Alla Bux, the nationahst Muslim 
leader, who was murdered a few days after this event for his 
— it was said — ^pro-Congress views, had no heart or guts even 
to attend the Sind Assembly Session and oppose the Pakistan 
resolution. Referring to this development, Savarkar warned 
the country against the impending peril in these memorable 
words : Now the features of Pakistan delineated on the wall 

are so bold that even he who runs may read them. Only the 
blind and cowardly can still indulge in believing that the 
deadly serpent may yet prove to be a coil of rope." ^ Savarkar 
also pointed out the difference between those members who 
were of Mahasabha persuasion and those elected on the 
Congress tickets in regard to their political stand. The former 
opposed any anti-national scheme and proposals boldly and 
bravely, while the latter kept culpable silence at the time of 
solving any crucial and vital problem affecting the destiny 
of the nation such as the one mentioned above. But the 
short-sighted lead of the Congress, lacking as it was in 
historical perspective, failed to read the writing on the wall. 

During the same month the Leaders' Conference was held 
in Bombay at the residence of Dr. Jayakar to explore the 
possibilities of Gajndhiji's release. Prominent among those 
who attended the Conference were K. M. Munshi, Rajaji, 
Bhulabhai Desai, Alla Bux and Devidas Gandhi. It was 
through the personal pressure of Dr. Jayakar and Sir Tej 

^ Statement dated 10-3-1943. 


Bahadur Sapru, who told Savarkar that something must be 
done to undo the injustice to the Hindu cause, that Savarkar 
attended the Conference on March 9, 1943. When Savarkar 
entered the residence of Dr. Jayakar, he saw leaders sitting 
in groups and talking among themselves. He found that there 
was no such question as Hindu interest or Hindu cause and the 
burden of the talks and discussion was the release of Gandhiji. 
When Jayakar and Sapru requested Savarkar to speak on the 
point of Gandhiji’s release, Savarkar insisted that not only 
the release of Gandhiji, but also the release of all political 
leaders including Sri Sarat Bose should be demanded. He 
further said that the British Government should be urged 
either to release all those patriots or put them on trial. 

Those were the days when the Liberals felt very uneasy to 
approach the Viceroy. So they earnestly requested Savarkar 
to approach the Viceroy with whom he really had great 
influence, and press for the release of Gandhiji. Next day, 
Savarkar could not attend the Conference owing to toothache 
and a previous engagement with Mr. William Phillips, 
President Roosevelt’s personal envoy, then travelling in India. 
The interview covered a wide range of topics from the 
political situation in India to the future relations between 
India and the U.S.A. In the meanwhile, it was given out in 
the press that Savarkar had signed the appeal for Gandhiji’s 
release which Savarkar contradicted to the leaders’ great 
disappointment by a statement declaring that he was not 
present at the Conference on the 10th of March when the 
appeal was drafted and signed by its signatories. 

Just then Mr. Jinnah, who was expecting a letter from 
Gandhiji in the Aga Khan Palace, thundered that terrible 
consequences would follow if the Government meddled with 
his post. Savarkar said that the threat of Mr. Jinnah was 
more amusing than alarming, and wondered why the League 
Fuehrer did not capture the Viceroy and proclaim Pakistan 
at once ! 

By now, the Hiu* rebellion was ruthlessly suppressed by the 
Government and its ring leader, Pir Pagaro, was hanged. The 
Muslim League demanded that his property should constitute 
a religious trust. Upon this Savarkar came out with a state- 
ment on May 4, appealing to the Government to compensate 


the Hindus for the losses they had suffered, from the proceeds 
of Pir Pagaro’s property, which had been extorted in the main 
from the Hindus whom the armed gangs of the Hurs had 
looted and harassed. 

There was a change in the Executive Council of the Viceroy. 
The Viceroy appointed Dr. N. B. Khare Member of the 
Executive Council in place of Aney. Savarkar appreciated 
the nomination of Dr. Khare. Dr. Khare was a staunch 
supporter of the militarization policy, a fearless patriot and a 
politician of hard stuff, who cared more for his conscience than 
for his career and who never changed his opinion for seciming 
a post or for future success. And Dr. Khare proved his worth 
when in the capacity of Commonwealth Relations Member he 
patriotically and with his characteristic fearlessness attacked 
the Segregation Bill proposed by the South African Govern- 
ment. The Segregation Bill had engaged the attention of the 
world and especially of the Indian leaders. Savarkar 
condemned it as an “ anti-Indian, unjust and oppressive 
measure,” and appealed to Britain and America “ to protest 
against the most callous and insulting Bill, which cut at the 
very root of the high-sounding aims of Britain and America 
which stood for the vindication of freedom and equal treat- 
ment for the depressed nationalities of the world.” 


On the 28th of May 1943, Savarkar’s Diamond Jubilee was 
celebrated all over India with great eclat and enthusiasm on 
a magnificent scale. Savarkar’s birthday is an occasion for 
national celebration and jubilation every year to the Hindu 
Sanghatanists in Hindusthan. It was natural therefore that 
on his happy and romantic sixty-first birthday, which dawned 
after Savarkar had faced bullets, chains, cells, and years of 
internment, the Hindus should display their nation-wide 
rejoicings with special enthusiasm and added vigour. Opportu- 
nists, careerists and arm-chair politicians do reach in the 
natural course the day of their Diamond Jubilee ; but it is 
a freak of fate, a fit of destiny, if a De Valera, a Mazzini, a 
Garibaldi or a Savarkar reaches the day of his Diamond 
Jubilee. India’s greatest patriot of his generation, Savarkar 


was to rot in a cell of the Andamans till his seventy-severth 
birthday and was to be released at the end of the year 19()], 
if he survived ! 

Therefore on this unique day mass meetings were held in 
the capital cities of all provinces and were addressed by 
eminent and prominent personalities. Big functions were held 
in the District and Taluka tovras ; various public, social, 
literary and religious institutions passed resolutions in 
appreciation of Savarkar’s great patriotic, literary and social 
services. He was also presented with purses and public 
addresses as a token of gratitude and in appreciation of his 
great services in the cause of Freedom. 

On the evening of May 28, 1943, before a mammoth 
congregation at Poona, Savarkar was presented with a purse 
of rupees one lakh and twenty-thousand by the Savarkar 
Reception Committee, Poona, under the presidency of Sri N. 
C. Kelkar. Savarkar was touched with the boundless love his 
countrymen bore to him and the gratitude they showered on a 
nation-wide scale on the day. He said amidst pin-drop silence 
to the vast multitude : I am really overwhelmed with the 

feelings of love and gratitude you have showered upon me 
which I cannot adequately express in words. Some sentiments 
are too delicate for words. It is a forgetful fit of destiny that 
I am amongst you loday. Nobody could have predicted that 
I could survive the two transportations the severity of which 
on more than one occasion drove me to the thought of suicide ! 
We lived in our veritable grave. Through fire and water we 
have stood by our noble resolve. And when I came out I 
was not my personal self. I was but a shriek of the distressed 
Hindutva.’’ Next day, the Poona Municipality gave him an 
address of welcome. He told the meeting on the occasion that 
life for a century was no fascination for him. Striving terribly 
for the goal alone had given him the supreme joy of life. He 
wished that soldiers fighting for national independence should 
march over the bridges of the dead bodies of his colleagues 
and his own, and win the goal. 

At Poona, on the same day, great ones of Marathi literature 
honoured Savarkar as a literary genius. The address 
solemnly stated : “ It required Lord Krishna to say the Gita 

to inspire Arjun with the spirit of fighting. The Gita has been 


since then the guiding pole-star and the beacon-light to the 
anxious world. Your place is among such authors of 
immortal fame. Unflagging is the pursuit of your ideal and 
conquering is your mission.” 

A similar function was held in his honour in Bombay at 
the Gowalia Tank Maidan on the 6th of June on a grand scale, 
under the presidentship of Sir R. P. Paran 3 pe, a former 
Principal of the Fergusson College from which Savarkar 
graduated. Speaking on the occasion, Paranjpe appreciated 
the great services of Savarkar to the country, marvelled at 
Savarkar ’s unabated persistence in the national struggle and 
at his mental and bodily vigour even after such a dreadful 
incarceration and a long internment. The eminent Liberal 
leader then asserted that Savarkar’s militarization policy was 
dictated by sound political realism, and appreciated Savarkar’s 
great work of Hindu consolidation and his valuable work for 
the uplift of the Depressed Classes. Paranjpe blamed 
Gandhiji for admixing religion with politics. He said that he 
could understand Savarkar’s legitimate opposition to Gandhiji’s 
policy of appeasement at all costs and reminded the country 
of the fate of Chamberlain at the hands of Hitler. 

Mr. K. F. Nariman, Sri Jamnadas Mehta and Sri Chandra- 
gupta Vedalankar were the other principal speakers on the 
occasion. Then a purse and a silver replica of the s.s. Morea, 
from which Savarkar had escaped at Marseilles, were 
presented to Savarkar on behalf of the public of Bombay. In 
reply to the great honour done to him, Savarkar reiterated 
his behef that nationalism itself was a step to a Human 
Government, that the Hindus were the national majority of 
Hindusthan, and that there should be an Indian State based 
on the principal of ‘ one man one vote ’ in Hindusthan. 

On behalf of the people of Berar Savarkar’s Diamond 
Jubilee was celebrated on August 1, 1943, at Amraoti with 
great eclat under the Presidentship of Sx’i Babarao Khaparde. 
Savarkar was presented with a purse. In reply to the great 
honour paid to him Savarkar explained how he was fulfilling 
the mission of Tilak. Nagpur, too, celebrated the Diamond 
Jubilee of Savarkar and presented a purse to Savarkar at a 
grand function. Dr. Varadarajalu Naidu was the main 
speaker on the occasion. Dr. Moonje presided over the 


celebration. On this great occasion the Nagpur University 
conferred upon Savarkar a Doctorate of Letters in appreciation 
of Savarkar’s great literary powers. What a contrast to the 
attitude of the Bombay University ! It not only failed to show 
any gratitude for or recognition of Savarkar’s services to the 
nation and literature by conferring any special Degree on him, 
but also did not care to recognize and restore Savarkar’s B.A. 
Degree so unjustly wrested from him when he was fighting 
for Indian Independence. Oh ingratitude ! is thy name 
political animosity of men in power in India ? 

A purse on behalf of the public of Ahmedabad was at a 
later stage presented to Savarkar at Ahmedabad on August 
22, 1945. The purse had been subscribed on the occasion of 
Savarkar’s Diamond Jubilee, but owing to the recurrent illness 
of Savarkar the celebration had to be postponed. 

Excepting Tilak no other leader was similarly honoured in 
Maharashtra and the services of no Indian Leader except 
Gandhiji upto that day were publicly appreciated on such a 
nation-wide scale. 

The main feature of the purses presented to Savarkar was 
an unequivocal declaration by the organizers, promoters and 
workers that they were offered unconditionally for his 
personal use as a token of nation’s gratitude to Savarkar for 
his untold sacrifices, unparalleled sufferings and unequalled 
services to the country. Still some politicians like Dr. Pattabhi 
Sitaramayya, who were not perturbed at the mismanagement 
of the Tilak Swaraj Fund, grew critical about the utility of 
Savarkar’s purse. And all this when Congressmen as a group 
had boycotted the purse. If they were unconcerned with it, 
why could they not purse up their aspersions within their 
lips ? 

In a special statement Savarkar acknowledged his debt to 
the gratitude shown by the whole nation for patriotic work, 
sufferings and sacrifice and said with a moving heart : “ Still, 

even while I was moving on, loaded with garlands, through 
the pressing and cheering crowds on my 61st birthday, I 
continued to feel in a mood of aloofness that it was but a 
romantic accident on the path of life and I must be prepared 
to face a counter-transfer scene at any moment when all this 


blossom, silver and gold might once again get transformed and 
hardened into iron and steel and fiery ordeal.” 


Savarkar’s insistence on constitutional means inside and 
revolutionary methods outside the Indian nation, was revealed 
once more on July 27, 1943, when Mr. Jinnah was attacked 
hy a Muslim youth with a knife. He had a narrow escape 
from the murderous attack. Though Jinnah belonged to the 
rival political party, Savarkar came out with a statement and 
condemned the act saying that “ such internecine, unprovoked 
murderous assaults — even if the motive be political or fanatical 
— constituted a stain on the public and civic life and should 
be strongly condemned.” Savarkar’s candid regard for purity 
of civic life was appreciated by Mr. Jinnah himself, who wrote 
to Sri Bhide Guruji, Savarkar’s Secretary, thanking Savarkar 
for his good wishes. That was the first and last occasion when 
a letter passed between these two great leaders. 

The Mahasabha having now firmly held to its anti-Pakistan 
resolve, Savarkar resigned at the end of July 1943, the 
Presidentship of the Hindu Mahasabha for the third time. 
This time, too, his resignation was not accepted, statesmen 
like Dr. Moonje being unwilling to change the horse in 

But in spite of indifferent health, Savarkar’s vigilant eyes 
were surveying the moves of the Pakistanis. A difficult 
situation was arising in Assam. Long before, Savarkar had 
warned the Assam Hindus of the impending danger. This time 
also Savarkar invited the attention of the Hindus to the 
imminent dangerous fate Assam would sufifer at the hands of 
the homeless hungry hordes of Muslims from Bengal and 
Orissa immigrating into Assam with a veiled plan of under- 
mining the overwhelming majority of the Hindus in Assam 
and turning it into a part of their proposed Pakistan. Hindu 
leaders in the Congress party could not gauge the danger. 
Though their leadership and nationalism depended for their 
life upon the strength of the Hindus, yet they pooh-poohed the 
calamity and ejaculated that it mattered not to them if there 
was a Muslim majority or a Hindu one in Assam. Savarkar 


bewailed the lack of foresight on the part of the Congress 
leaders, who failed to see that “ that very difference measures 
the distance between Akhand Hindusthan and Pakistan. It is 
the self-forgetting and suicidal mentality, which has smitten 
the Hindu race like a national curse and has been responsible 
in the main for the ills the Hindus are subjected to.” 

At this period an event of historical importance took place. 
In the month of June 1943, the League Ministry in Sind 
banned Chapter XIV of the Satyartha Prakash, the 
Bible of the Arya Samaj. None was affected more deeply than 
Savarkar and he came forward to defend the religious liberty 
of the Arya Samaj. In an appeal to the Viceroy he stated : 

“ I emphatically draw your Excellency’s attention to the 
contemplated action against the Satyartha Prakash by the 
Sind Ministry. That book is the scripture of the Arya 
Samajists and is revered by the Hindus in general. Every 
scripture including the Bible has something to say against 
other sects or religions. But no Hindu Ministry ever 
contemplated any action against non-Hindu scriptures.” 
Savarkar was the only great leader who strongly and boldly 
protested against the unjust ban on the Satyartha Prakash. 
And that is why the Arya Samaj leader, Sri Ghanashyam Das 
Gupta, sought his guidance in the matter. 

Neither the Congress press nor their leaders raised even 
their little finger against this, for they feared as usual that 
their Muslim brothers’ sentiments would be hurt. It was a 
religious matter and that too concerning the Hindus ! The 
Congress leaders were progressive men. And yet they were 
intelligent and progressive enough to struggle for restoring the 
Khilafat to Turkastan which she herself had banished ! And 
this is not at all strange. Congressmen, who always walked 
on the tips of their toes to search for a Muslim grievance and 
to defend and appease it at the cost of Hindu interests and 
could later on move an adjournment motion in the Central 
Assembly over the execution of Pir Pagaro, did not feel an 
iota of sympathy with the Hindus for the unjust ban on their 
legitimate right of freedom of conscience. There was this 
method in their Muslim mania. They kept neutral over any 
problem affecting Hindu interests and their motto was either 
to keep mum over Muslim demands or to support them. And 

the writing on the wall 315 

for this lack of sympathy and support on the part of the 
Congressmen to the cause of the Arya Samaj, the Arya 
Samajists themselves were in no small measure responsible. 

A multitude of the followers of the Arya Samaj had changed 
their holy faith for Gandhism for all practical purposes and 
adopted Gandhiji as their godfather, who openly attributed 
narrow-mindedness to their prophet. 

Then came the famine that smote Bengal, taking an 
unparalleled toll of human lives and reducing human beings 
and houses to dust. The Muslims tried to utilize the appalling 
situation for their worldly benefit. An organized Muslim 
campaign to convert hundreds of starving Hindu women and 
children to Islamic faith was reported to have been carried 
on during this man-made famine — a famine set in by a dark 
fanatic regime of the Muslim League Ministry. Savarkar 
attacked these nefarious active proselytizing designs of the 
Moslems. He shouted that the Muslims spent their funds on 
Muslim famine-stricken population alone. While as usual 
nationalist leaders like Devi Sarojini Naidu sent a cheque 
earmarked for the Muslim sufferers, the Hindu funds and 
trainloads of foodstuff were distributed amongst all the 
sufferers in a cosmopolitan way. Savarkar said that the 
Muslims were not only fed doubly, but they also used their 
surplus for dragging Hindu children and women into their 
fold. So Savarkar urged upon the Hindu leaders and 
organizations to help, rescue, feed, clothe and shelter Hindu 
sufferers alone, and warned them publicly : “ Let the Hindus 

remember that suicide is no humanity. Humanity that allows 
itself to be abused to encourage inhuman activities, is no virtue 
but a crime.” Some sordid journalists of false cosmopolitan 
view and hue honestly decried this realistic attitude of 
Savarkar ; but slurred over the point whether the basis of 
Savarkar’s advice was real or not. 

About this time the official Vatican Organ, Observators 
Romano, had declared : “ The Christian light shines already 

in the subcontinent of India. We hope one day it will blaze 
forth in full splendour.” Savarkar was amused at this 
mistaken belief of the Pope and cabled a statement to the 
United Press of America, Washington, retorting squarely : 
“ Surely the Vatican could not have chosen more absurdly 


ridiculous a moment to wish India to blaze forth with 
Christianity than this one, when Hitler, Mussolini, Churchill 
Roosevelt and the other leaders of almost all Christian 
nations are vowing vengeance against each other and singing 
hallelujahs to Moloch in churches meant for Christ and when 
the Vatican, the capital of the High Priest of the Prince of 
Peace itself which was only yesterday honouring Mussolini, 
is today blazing forth in full splendour under the bombard- 
ment from air and praying through the mouth of cannon to 
save itself ! ” Savarkar hit the nail on the head when he 
further said, “ Physician heal thyself,” and pointed out to the 
Pope that “ his clock was behind time ; the Christian light had 
come to shine dimmer ever since the Shuddhi and Sanghatan 
movement had set in belying the hopes of Macaulay, who 
wished India to pulsate with Christianity, with the result that 
thousands of Hindus, who had embraced Christianity, were 
now repudiating it and re-embracing the Hindu fold and 
getting re-assimilated into the Hindu Nation not only 
religiously but also culturally, politically and socially.” This 
view of Savarkar was highly appreciated by the Jews in India 
and particularly their spokesmen at Madras. 

In November 1943, a memorable event in the social history 
of Maharashtra took place. It was the centenary celebration 
of the Marathi Stage. Savarkar was elected President and 
he presided over the functions at Sangli in the first week of 
November. It was a unique honour for a unique personality. 
The stage and screen luminaries, playwrights and litterateurs 
of Maharashtra did well in paying this unique honour to 
Savarkar, their foremost man of letters, poet and dramatist. 
Savarkar presided over several literary conferences and 
fimctions but none so memorable ! 

During the same week the second millenary of Vikramaditya 
the Great was celebrated at Sangli by the Maharashtra 
Provincial Hindu Sabha. Savarkar addressed a memorable 
mammoth pubhc meeting on the bank of the river Krishna at 
Sangli and spoke on the great epoch-maker. He told the vast 
multitude that Vikramaditya the Great lived for two thousand 
years in the memory of his race, not because he was merely 
a great king in whose peaceful reign, life and literature, art 
and learning prospered, but because he defeated, demolished, 

the whiting on the wall 317 

and drove out the Shaks and the Huns, the alien and non- 
Hindu invaders, and liberated the Bharat Varsha. The whole 
of Hindusthan felt enthused, inspired and animated, said 
Savarkar, at the mention of the name of Vikramaditya as the 
Shakari and Hunari, the conqueror of the Shaks and the 

December came and Savarkar was again elected for the 
seventh successive time President of the Hindu Mahasabha 
Session to be held at Amritsar, despite his resignation pending 
before the Working Commitli'o of the Hindu Mahasabha and 
his repeated requests to the contrary. But owing to a severe 
attack of bronchitis he was confined to bed and Dr. Mookerjee 
officiated in his place. 

The political deadlock was still unsolved. The British 
Government was busy with the operations of the war, and was 
not in a mood to discuss the deadlock. But efforts were made 
by some Liberal leaders in that direction. Sir Maharaj Kumar 
of Vijay Nagar expressed a desire to know the views of 
Savarkar on the All-Party Conference to be convened shortly 
thereafter to solve the deadlock. Savarkar replied to him 
that there was no harm in trying again. Sir Jagdish Prasad 
had an interview with Savarkar at Savarkar Sadan on 
February 24, 1944, and discussed current political problems. 
Early in the month, the Sub-Consul of the U.S.A. interviewed 
Savarkar to ascertain Savarkar’s views on War and the Indian 
political situation. 

In February 1944, Mrs. Kasturba Gandhi died a glorious 
death befitting an Aryan lady in the Aga Khan Palace at 
Poona. Savarkar’s political differences with her husband 
were quite well known. Yet the personal loss of Gandhiji had 
his condolences and sympathies. In a telegraphic condolence 
message to Gandhiji, Savarkar said : “ With a heavy heart I 

mourn the death of Kastiu-ba. A faithful wife, and an 
affectionate mother, she died a noble death in the service of 
God and Man. Your grief is shared by a whole nation.” Such 
noble feelings could come only from a heart devoid of any 
spite against Gandhiji as a private man. 

But the disciples of Gandhiji afterwards dragged the 
deceased lady’s name into an appeal for a fund in her name. 
It was not a fund which all part 3 nnen were to expend on a 


national cause in its truest sense. Again the nationalism of 
its trustees was likely to be the same for which the Tilak 
Swaraj Fund was utilized. Savarkar could not tolerate this 
politics in the good name of Kasturba especially as it was 
feared that the Fund was likely to be used for anti-Hindu 
purposes. So Savarkar asked the Hindu Sanghatanist public 
not to contribute even a pie to the Kasturba Fund and to 
supply the sinews for the propagandistic struggle of the 
Congress to be used against the Hindu Mahasabha. He 
reminded the Hindu Sanghatanists how the Tilak Swaraj Fund 
was utilized to kill the spirit of the Tilakites, the policy of 
Tilak and his party, and to aid the Khilafatists. 

As for the idea of a memorial to the good patriotic lady, he 
appreciated it, but asked Congressmen whether they had ever 
cared for the thousand and one widows of the revolutionary 
martyred heroes, who had pined away in miserable widow- 
hood ! What Savarkar suggested to the people was that if at 
all they wanted to erect any memorial to Kasturba, they should 
also do so to the memory of the patriotic and pious souls like 
Madame Cama, Gopikabai Phadke, Satyabhamabai Tilak — 
who died while Tilak was at Mandalay — , Yashodabai 
Savarkar, ladies from the Parmananda family and numerous, 
other ladies who were as patriotic as Kasturba. Savarkar also 
emphasized that the Kasturba Fund being a party Fund might 
be used by Gandhiji at his sweet wiU for the propaganda of 
his ideals which Savarkar believed to be detrimental to the 
ultimate interests and the integrity of Hindusthan. The good 
name of Kasturba which Savarkar honoured with due respect 
had nothing to do with the political propaganda of Gandhiji. 
The history of the Kasturba Fund afterwards was not in any 
way encouraging from the point of Hindu interests and 
the integrity of Hindusthan and Savarkar’s stand proved to 
be quite correct. But the Congress press and some lackeys 
with malicious pens indulged in anti-Savarkar outbursts 
totally unjustified. 

In March 1944, the Congressmen, who were freshly filtered 
out of the jails after the abrupt failure of their Quit India 
Movement, began to realize the frustration of their boycott 
of the Central Assembly. They now attended the Assembly 
and outvoted the Finance Bill in collaboration with the Muslim 

the writing on the wall 319 

League. Here was a combination of the August protagonists 
and their August antagonists. The Muslim Leaguers wLo 
were smarting under the Viceroy’s stress in his announcement 
on the geographical, political, military and economic unity of 
India, seized the opportunity of browbeating the Viceroy and 
so they used the Congress Assembly members as a cat’s paw 
to serve tbeir ends by throwing the Bill out. Savarkar’s 
untaibng insigbt saw the danger in this event. So he endorsed 
the view taken by the Mahasabha M.L.As in the Central 
Assembly led by Sri Jamnadas Mebta who did not support 
the League-Congress unholy alliance. The Congress party 
and papers severely criticised this non-co-operation on the 
part of the Assembly Members of the Hindu Mahasabha as 
a pro-British attitude. The stand taken by Savarkar in regard 
to this alliance was vindicated, as will be seen in the next 
chapter, with a vengeance by the disclosure of the Bhulabhai- 
Liaqat Ali Khan pact which was mooted by this alliance. The 
Congress party hailed the pyrrhic victory won by the alliance 
as a feather in their white caps. Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru 
characterised the white-feathered victory with his failing sight 
as the first rung of the ladder ; but he must have soon 
discovered that the ladder was one that led to Pakistan. 

Soon after this Gandhiji was released on May 6, 1944, 
because of his bad health. Speaking of this event, Savarkar 
said that this action on the part of the British Government 
was a humane one. He also wished Gandhiji speedy recovery 
and urged the Government to release Pandit Nehru and other 
leaders as well. What a patriotic sympathy for the 
compatriots ! Had an iota of this sympathy been felt by 
Pandit Nehru and others for Savarkar, it would have added 
lustre to their patriotic selflessness. But they never did it nor 
did they show any inclination to do so even when Savarkar 
lay in the hospital or was bed-ridden, not to speak of 
Savarkar’s arrest at Gaya in 1941 when Nehru and his Civil 
Liberties Union kept mum ! 

Shortly afterwards Savarkar had to issue a statement in 
reply to a speech made by Mr. Jinnah at Sialkot. In his 
speech at Sialkot, Jinnah referred to a statement of Savarkar 
and told the Muslims that Savarkar and Moonje had 
instructed the Punjab Hindus to join the Muslim League in 


forming coalitions ‘ when it was inevitable to do so.’ So 
Jinnah advised the Moslems to make it inevitable for the 
Hindus to co-operate with the League in forming the ministry. 
Upon this Savarkar replied that the report of his instructions 
as quoted by Mr. Jinnah was meagre and misleading ; and if 
Mr. Jinnah construed it as an instrument to bend the Hindus 
to his wUl, then, he said, he should rest assured that the 
Hindus would never bend to the dictates of the League. 
Mr. Jinnah wanted in those days a Hindu leader to support 
his demands and his wish was father to the thought. What 
Savarkar in fact was driving at was that he was prepared to 
discuss any sensible, honourable and workable proposal for 
the Hindu-Muslim unity. One does not see in this any harm 
to national interests and one wonders why Dr. Pattabhi 
Sitaramayya should have twisted the statement of Savarkar 
in his propagandist history of the Indian National Congress ! 
Savarkar had advised the Hindu leaders in the Muslim majo- 
rity provinces to join ministries formed by the Muslim 
League wdthout committing themselves to any scheme detri- 
mental .to the interests and to the integrity of Hindusthan. 
In criticizing this stand, Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, in fact, 
blamed Savarkar for having tried to apply a check to the 
Leaguers who were running amuck in those provinces. Such 
a move could not but be a wrong strategy in the eyes of 
Gandhian politics in which Dr. Pattabhi had been steeped for 
two decades ! 

In the second week of June 1944, Sri M. N. Roy paid a 
visit to Savarkar Sadan with his wife, Mrs. Ellen Roy, as a 
courtesy call. Savarkar was then unwell. Yet the talk 
between the two leaders became very interesting when it 
touched the Muslim problem in its rational and realistic 
aspect. Two giants well known for their rationalism crossed 
swords with each other, and the great theorist in Roy had 
to face hard realities respecting the Muslim problem from all 
points. During this month the Government of India appointed 
Sir R. P. Paranjpe High Commissioner for Australia. He 
was the first Indian to be the High Conunissioner for Australia. 
Savarkar expressed satisfaction at this appointment. 

In the meanwhile a crisis was coming to a head in the 
Jaipur State. As foretold by Savarkar, Sir Mirza Ismail in 

thjb writing on the wall 321 

fact persisted in his pro-MusUm policy in Jaipur. He was 
stated to have stifled Hindi and the Nagari script, supported 
Urdu and demolished temples that came in the way of 
his town-planning, but left mosques untouched. There was 
a strong agilalion in the State against his holding the offlee 
any longer, bandit ^amehandta Shatma, a Wdex m 
State, res^orted to a last ‘\n YieWn, protesVmg against the anti- 
Hindu rule of Sir Mirza Ismail. Savarkar upheld Pandit 
Sharma’s demands and desired him to break his fast. After 
fifty-four days Sharma broke his fast with no small amount 
of success. For facts, figures and fairness had motivated his 
fast and they exposed the real state of affairs in Jaipur. 

In the third week of June 1944, Savarkar had again an 
important interview with a personal representative of 
President Roosevelt, Mr. Lampton Berry. During the two- 
hour talk Mr. Lampton Berry discussed with Savarkar his 
views and policy towards the future Indo- American relations ! 

Towards the end of June the Bombay Government put a 
ban on the pilgrimage of the Hindus to Pandharpur and 
Savarkar successfully directed an agitation of the Hindu 
Sanghatanists for securing the religious freedom of the people. 



Fight for Akhand Hindusthan 


Now we come to a very important chapter in the life of 
Savarkar. By now Rajaji, the whilom member of the All- 
India Congress Committee, released to the press his corres- 
pondence with Mr. Jinnah concerning his offer to the League 
leader which was fathered by Gandhiji during his fast at the 
Aga Kh^n Palace. Rajaji had now advanced to the far end 
of the proposed Pakistan scheme. Speaking on the birthday 
anniversary of the Prophet at Bangalore on April 12, 1943, 
Rajaji had said : “ I stand for Pakistan because I do not want 
that State where we Hindus and Muslims are both not 
honoured. Let Muslims have Pakistan. If we agree then our 
country will be saved.’’ ^ Mr. Jinnah in his press interview 
on July 30, 1944, referred to the correspondence with Rajaji 
and the proposal put forward by him and said : “ As regards 
the merits of the proposal, Mr. Gandhi is offering a shadow, 
a husk, a maimed, mutilated and moth-eaten Pakistan and 
thus trying to pass off as having met our Pakistan scheme and 
Muslim demand.” In one of his telegrams sent to Mr. Jinnah 
and now released to the press, Rajaji said : “ Mr. Gandhi, 

though not vested with representative or special capacity in 
this matter, definitely approved of my proposals and autho- 
rized me to approach you on that basis. The weight of his 
opinion would most probably secure Congress acceptance.” ^ 

Mark the secret promise of the truth-seeker, Gandhiji, who 
abhorred secrecy in any matter. Read this further confession 
of Rajaji in his statement of July 16, 1944, issued from 
Panchgani in which he said : “ It is now two years since I 
started work, even though I had secured Gandhi ji’s unquali- 
fied support to the scheme and it conceded all that the Muslim 

^ Dr. Pattabhi Silaramayya, History oj the Indian National Congress, 
Vol. II, p. 507. 

2 The Times of India, Bombay, dated 31-7-1944, 


League ’lad ever demanded in its resolution of 1940.” ^ Mark 
the words ‘ two years Was Savarkar’s reading of the mind 
of Gandhiji and his satellites incorrect, his foresight blurring 
and the charges he levelled against them false ? Was Savarkar 
wrong in his devastating attack on Rajaji’s role and Gandhiji’s 
goal when they were actually hatching the secret move 
against the integrity of India ? 

Rajaji’s new offer contained the following terms : That the 
Muslim League should endorse the Indian demand for Indian 
Independence and co-opei iie with the Congress in the forma- 
tion of a provisional Intc'in. Government and conceded that 
if the Muslim majority pro^•Ihces in the West and East decide 
by a plebiscite held on the basis of adult franchise in favour 
of a sovereign independent State separate from Hindusthan, 
the decision should be given effect to ; that in the event of 
separation a mutual agreement should be entered into for safe- 
guarding defence, commerce and communications and that 
transfer of population should be voluntary. In the meanwhile 
Gandhiji wrote a letter to Jinnah asking him for an interview. 
Mr. Jinnah, who was well drilled, like the German war 
machines, in conducting political negotiations, replied on 
July 24, 1944, from Srinagar to Gandhiji’s letter dated the 
17th July from Panchgani that he would be glad to receive 
Gandhiji at his house in Bombay after his return. Mr. Jinnah 
saw his life’s opportunity. When the scheme was out, there 
was a flutter for a while among the Congress circles and 
press ; but they were stunned to see that their holy father, 
Gandhiji, himself was acting as the Godfather to the unholy 
scheme of partitioning their Motherland and thereafter kept 
a guilty silence on the treacherous move. 

The Liberal leaders, Sir Chimanlal Setalvad and Sir V. N. 
Chandavarkar, described Rajaji’s offer as a danger to India’s 
security ! 

Savarkar who believed that India was a united whole 
through ages and whose concept and worship of the Mother- 
land were incomparable curtly stated ; “ It is really unjust to 
look upon Rajaji alone as the villain of this tragedy. His 
fault is that he allowed himself to play as a willing tool in the 
hands of Gandhiji.” Savarkar flew into a rage at this beginning 

* The Times of India, Bombay, dated 31-7-1944. 


of the end of the United India. He added that “ the Indian 
provinces were not the private properties of Gandhi ji and 
Rajaji so that they could make a gift of them to anyone they 
liked.” ^ Savarkar further declared that the Quit India Move- 
ment of the Congress did ultimately end in the Split India 
demand as foretold by him, issued an appeal to the Hindus in 
general and Hindu Sanghatanists in particular to denounce 
this nefarious proposal for Pakistan uncompromisingly and 
fundamentally, and asked the people to observe the first week 
of August 1944, as the Akhand Hindusthan and Anti- 
Pakistan week. 

The tussle between the forces of Akhand Hindusthan led 
by Savarkar and the disruptive forces led by Jinnah and sup- 
ported by Gandhiji and Rajaji aroused keen interest among 
political observers abroad. The American papers sought 
Savarkar’s views regarding Gandhi-Rajaji proposal. So 
Savarkar cabled to the United Press of America, Washington, 
that the Hindu Mahasabha, the All-India representative body 
of the Hindus, condemned emphatically Gandhiji’s proposal to 
vivisect India allowing the Muslims to form separate inde- 
pendent States, and added that the Hindu Mahasabhedtes 
would never tolerate the breaking up of the unity of India, 
their Fatherland and Holyland.^ The same message was cabled 
by Savarkar to Mr. L. S. Amery, the then Secretary of State 
for India. The political situation was worsening. Meetings 
supporting Rajaji’s proposal at many places ended in pande- 
monium, huge demonstrations were held against his formula 
and dissatisfaction against it was expressed on a country-wide 

After a few days, as arranged between Gandhiji and Jinnah, 
the Pakistani special train guarded by the Khaksar Muslim 
Volunteers and protected by British soldiers who “ happened ” 
to travel in the same train, left Wardha for Bombay with 
Gandhiji inside. The nationalist opposition to him was 
demonstrated all the way. At several stations, black flag 
demonstrations were staged by Hindu Sanghatanists and other 
nationalists. And lo ! On his arrival in Bombay, Gandhiji 
and his commercialised press appealed to the cotmtry to 
observe restraint and the people were asked to pray for the 

^ Statement dated 14-7-1944. ^ Cablegram dated 26-7-1944. 


success of the very talks which were dangerous to the unity 
and integrity of India. Organs like the Times of India, 
Bombay, that change their minds with the change of their 
ma.sters, went a long way in welcoming the readiness on 
Gandhiji’s part to concede the principle of Pakistan as ‘ a 
constructive contribution towards the Congress-League settle- 
ment ’ though the proposal was an avowedly destructive 
contribution to the Indian nation and to the integrity of India. 

Throughout this period Savarkar went on doing his duty 
of cautioning the nation against the tragedy. In a statement 
then issued he drew the at tn ion of the people to the sins and 
grievous political errors Gandhiji and the Congress were 
committing, and referred rather indignantly amid a bitter 
atmosphere to the part Gandhiji was playing : “ The mono- 
maniacal fit can hardly go further ; nor sin could be darker. 
But the darkest sin of vivisection of our Motherland and Holy- 
land is still going to crown his political career, and all this in 
the name of non-violence, truth and God ! ” ^ 

Even with the strong opposition the nation demonstrated to 
his formula, Rajaji was audacious enough to say that he found 
almost all important sections of the Indian people ready to 
support his Pakistani proposal except the Hindu Mahasabha 
which was determined to offer uncompromising opposition. 
He acknowledged publicly that the first spark of patriotism 
was lit in him in his youthful days by reading Savarkar 's 
famous book. The Indian War of Independence of 1857. 
Rajaji further referred to Savarkar’s attitude to his formula 
and said : “ Mr. Savarkar has stated that it is the duty of 
every Hindu Sanghatanist to denounce the proposals. 
Mr. Savarkar may thus define the duty of the Hindu Sangha- 
tanists, but what about the duty of the Indian Sanghatanists 
whose aim is to be free and not only to be organized against 
the Muslims ? ” In his scathing and telling retort, Savarkar 
said : “ This was a case of Rajaji against Rajaji.” He added 
that Rajaji would bear witness to the undeniable truth that 
he who ushered the word Independence in poHtical currency 
for the first time in the recent history of India by proclaiming 
absolute political Independence of India, rose in revolt and in- 
vested the question of Indian Independence with international 

1 Statement dated 13-8-1944. 


importance, must be knowing at least something of what that 
Independence, freedom, and Indian Sanghatan really im- 
plied ! ” Savarkar proceeded in his master hit : “ I do not know 
whether Rajaji’s acquaintance with Sanskrit is on a par with 
that of Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, the knight-errant, who is now 
out to prove that the Arabianized and Persianized Urdu 
Language and the Urdu script are better entitled to be the 
national Language and national script of the Hindus than 
Sanskritized Hindi. But Rajaji is after all born in an 
Acharya family ; it would not be far from truth if I presume 
that he must be knowing this much that the word Sanghatan 
means pre-eminently consolidation, integi’ation, and unifica- 
tion and can never mean disintegration, dislocation, vivisec- 
tion or decentralisation.” He further asked Rajaji whether 
the latter who supported the principle of vivisection of India 
was an Indian Sanghatanist or those who opposed vivisection, 
and disintegration were Indian Sanghatanists ? Who could 
claim to be Indian Sanghatanists ? Tliose who led a butcher’s 
knife at the neck of the Motherland or those who wanted to 
ward off the murderous attack ? Never did Rajaji dare look at 
Savarkar again through the press. So smashing was the hit — 
a Savarkarian stroke, telling and crushing ! 

The talks of Gandhi ji with Jinnah in the palatial building 
of Jinnah at Mount Pleasant Road, Bombay, lasted for about 
three long weeks in September 1944. Jinnah was stubborn 
but shrewd, ruthless but realist in his own way in his demand 
for the vivisection of India. The underlining theme of 
Gandhiji’s arguments was that the British Government should 
be ousted first and then the right of self-determination would 
be given to the Muslims. Jinnah insisted that the settlement 
between the Hindus and Muslims should be first made. 
Gandhiji clearly agreed to the principle of Partition as be- 
tween brothers and promised that though he differed from 
Jinnah on the general basis, he would recommend to the 
Congress and the country the acceptance of the claim for 
separation as contained in the Muslim League resolution of 
Lahore of 1940. In a letter to Jinnah, Gandhiji said : “ If the 
vote is in favour of separation, it shall be agreed that those 
areas shall form a separate State as soon as possible after 
India is free from foreign domination and can therefore be 


constituted into two Sovereign Independent States.” Lastly, 
Gandhiji said : “ The League will however be free to remain 
out of any direct action to which the Congress may resort and 
in which the League may not be willing to participate.” 

Thus the Muslim participation in the freedom struggle was 
nowhere guaranteed ; but the partition of India was guaran- 
teed by Gandhiji to Jinnah ! Gandhiji paid nineteen visits to 
Jinnah’s house without receiving a single in return, even 
observed his ‘ Mondays ’ on Sundays to facilitate the progress 
of the talks and returned ith an unpleasant face from Mount 
Pleasant. The master diplomat in Jinnah knew that now the 
British Government was required to sign his perfidious plot 
against the Indian integrity. Thus Gandhiji, who had 
regarded Pakistan as a sin, a patent untruth, a denial of God, 
and the undoing of the work of a good many ancestors agreed 
to lay the axe at the root of Hindusthan and to cut off the 
holiest part of India for the mere asking of the Muslims ! 

Savarkar’s heart was torn with anxiety ; his anguish was 
unimaginable. A true son of India, he was grappling to save 
the neck of his Motherland from the knife of the butchers, 
fighting against the colossal betrayal by great leaders, against 
the long purses of the multi-millionaires who sided with those 
leaders and the great guilty press that saw the treachery 
being enacted, but shed no tears, not to speak of offering any 
opposition to it. Savarkar shouted : “ Hark countrymen, the 
Indian National Congress, which was ushered into existence 
to consolidate the Indian Nation, has itself betrayed its sole 
mission, the very justification of its existence and falling a 
victim to the pseudo-nationalistic malady, has dealt the un- 
kindest cut of all at the Indian national integrity.” The 
keeper turned verily a poacher ! As balanced a statesman as 
Sri Srinivas Sastri said that it was impossible for a genuine 
nationalist to remain tongue-tied while the integrity of our 
Motherland was being bartered ! 

To all sensible politicians and the national-minded people in 
general who publicly protested against the Pakistani proposal, 
Savarkar fervently appealed in a statement to organize a 
whirlwind protest against the sinful Congress designs to break 
up the integrity of Hindusthan, and not to remain tongue-tied 
without raising a single word of protest against the political 


matricide of their Motherland. As a counter-move to the 
Gandhi-Rajaji formula Savarkar contemplated to hold an 
Akhand Hindusthan Leaders’ Conference on the 7 th and tUh 
of October 1944. He invited all those leaders to the Conference 
who had taken up a definite attitude to oppose any efforts 
aimed at breaking up the integrity of Hindusthan as a Nation 
and a State on any grounds whatsoever, whether religious, 
cultural, linguistic or economic. 

The Akhand Hindusthan Leaders ’ Conference was held 
accordingly on the 7th and 8th of October 1944, at New Delhi as 
scheduled. More than three hundred leaders including Master 
Tara Singh from the Punjab attended the Conference. His 
Holiness Sri Shankaracharya of Puri was also present and 
blessed the Conference in a dignified Sanskrit speech. The 
Hon. Sir Jogendra Singh, Member for Education, the Hon. 
Dr. N. B. Khare, Commonwealth Relations Member of the 
Government of India, were also present. Inaugurating the 
Conference, Sri Jamnadas Mehta, denounced the concept of 
Pakistan and asserted in his briUiant style : “ As a Hindu, 

I reject it ; as an Indian, I repudiate it, and as an inter- 
nationalist, I repel it.” Mehta further called for an 
unrelenting war on the enemies of Hindusthan which he said, 
were the British imperialism, Muslim fanaticism. Congress 
wobblings and our own apathy. In his brief brilhant speech, 
Savarkar explained the object of the Conference and dwelt 
on its representative character. He hoped that there would 
be no difference of opinion on the main resolution. 

Dr. Radha Kumud Mookerji, a renowned authority on 
Indian History and Politics, presided over the Conference, 
and in his Presidential Address said : “ A crisis of the first 
magnitude has been created in our national history by some 
great leaders who have convinced themselves that it is impos- 
sible for our Mother Country to attain her independence and 
the status which is her birth-right except on the basis of 
Hindu-Muslim Unity.” ^ He lamented the misreading of the 
national history and politics on their part and asserted that 
the Homeland of the Hindus through millenniums of their 
history had been nothing short of the whole of India. The 
man of vast erudition further said that Pakistan was a totally 

* The Times of India, Bombay, dated 9-10-1944. 


unacceptable scheme as a solution of the communal problem, 
as it sought to solve it at the cost of the unity of the Mother 

Master Tara Singh declared at the Conference that the 
Sikhs were the gatekeepers of India. He said that he had 
not come to lend support, but to seek support for the Sikh 
determination to guard the Frontiers of Akhand Hindusthan, 
and sounded a warning that even if the majority of the Hindus 
agreed to Pakistan, they ’ '•d no right to force it upon the 
Sikhs. Seveial other leaci* r? from Bengal, Assam, Madras, 
Jaipur, Meerut, Barreillj a’ d Poona supported the main 
resolution which unambiguously declared its unflinching 
faith in the oneness and integrity of India and its firm con- 
viction that the partition of India would be fatal to the best 
interests of the country as a whole and to every community. 

Among the three hundred sympathetic messages received, 
those from Sri Srinivas Sastri, Sir R. P. Paranjpe and Sri 
Ramrao Deshmukh exhorted the Hindus to value the interests 
of the country more than those of a passing political party 
and wished success for the Conference. 

The Conference ended in a great enthusiasm and a deter- 
mination of the nationalists to oppose Pakistan. This was the 
greatest demonstration of the nationalist opposition to the 
scheme of Pakistan during this period. 

In August 1944, Dr. Mookerjee visited Poona. Savarkar 
appreciated his “ recent condemnation of Provincial self- 
determination ” and desired in a telegraphic message to L. B. 
Bhopatkar that the crown of thorns of the Presidentship of 
the Hindu Mahasabha should be bestowed upon Dr. Mookerjee 
next year. In the second week of November 1944, Savarkar 
once again announced his irrevocable decision not to accept 
the Presidentship of the Hindu Mahasabha any more. Dr. 
Moonje, who could read the times with a clear foresight, 
appealed personally to Savarkar in all sincerity to reconsider 
his decision as he thought that there was no other force but 
Savarkar that could avert the coming disaster ! But 
Savarkar’s deteriorating health was now unequal to the 
strain and task and he told Dr. Moonje that his decision was 


In the second week of November 1944, Savarkar appealed 
to the Viceroy and to the Governor of Sind to lift the ban on 
the Satyartha Prakash and added that the proscription of the 
Satyartha Prakash was bound to result in a similar demand 
for the ban on the Koran all over India. In this connection 
he also saw the Viceroy, Lord Wavell, on November 27, 1944. 
But the Congress remained still unconcerned in spite of the 
suppression of the right of freedom of worship of the Arya 
Samajists. Not only that, but the Congressmen remained 
neutral when Bhai Parmananda moved an adjournment motion 
over the Satyartha Prakash ban in the Central Assembly and 
the motion failed for want of support ! 

Towards the end of the year the Hindu Mahasabha held 
its annual Session at Bilaspur. Savarkar inaugurated this 
session over which Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee presided. 
In his brilliant and succinct address Dr. Mookerjee put 
before the people Savarkarism in a modified form although 
couched in the style of a brilliant university professor ! The 
main features of the Session were the elucidation of the 
economic policy of the Hindu Mahasabha and the adoption 
of a draft of the Future Constitution of India prepared by 
the Gokhale Committee and which was moved by Sri 
L. B. Bhopatkar. 

At Bilaspur Savarkar also presided over the Satyartha 
Prakash Conference at the time of the Mahasabha Session and 
expressed his righteous indignation by declaring that had 
there been Hindu Sanghatanist ministries in all other pro- 
vinces, the Koran would have been instantly banned till the 
Satyartha Prakash was fully restored in Sind. 


The year 1945 was a turning point in Savarkar’s life in 
many respects. Owing to a serious breakdown in his 
health, his constitution that stood the hardships of the 
Deathland, the strain of the social work in Ratnagiri and 
since 1937 the whirlwind propaganda from one end of 
Hindusthan to the other, was now refusing to stand the strain 
of active political life any more. 

In the month of March 1945, Savarkar suffered a great 


bereavement. His elder brother Ganeshpant alias Babarao 
Savarkar passed away at Sangli after a prolonged and painful 
illness. Savarkar’s lifelong trusted elderly counsel, com- 
patriot and heroic brother thus passed away. No brothers in 
modern politics stood by their brother through thick and thin 
as did Babarao Savarkar and Dr. N. D. Savarkar loyally stand 
through fire and water by their beloved brother, Tatya. India’s 
pioneer devotee of revolution, Babarao Savarkar was a patriot 
of heroic enduring, endless sacrifice and silent selfless service. 
The younger brother. Dr. Narayanrao Savarkar, attended the 
sickbed of Babarao at Sangli. Savarkar had seen the ailing 
brother a few days before the latter’s death. His distant stay 
made him write in his anxious moments letters to his brother 
who was on his death-bed. Savarkar wrote to his dying 
brother : “ Our life work (i.e. the work of the three brothers) 
was one. In our generation we have tried to repay our 
spiritual debt to our forefathers. No historian of modern 
Hindusthan will fail to write in golden letters one separate 
chapter. Our political opponents have familiarized the title 
of that chapter as the Savarkar Epoch. By giving the 
countrymen two battle cries, “ Victory to the Goddess of 
Liberty ” and “ Hindusthan belongs to the Hindus,” we have 
thus been instrumental twice in bringing about a fundamental 
revolution in the nation’s ideology and active political life.” 

“ The Lord of Death, who is now standing by your side, is 
meeting you, not like a foe, but like a friend. You have lived 
up to your life’s ideal. Never did even once you dream of 
abandoning the torch of freedom which in your boyhood you 
vowed to hold aloft. Great were your sufferings. Equally 
great have been your joys. You have bravely suffered the 
hardships of a political prisoner condenmed to a life sentence 
in the Andamans. In sufferings as in happiness, never did 
you drop down the banner of Revolution.” 

The heroic fighter died thinking only of his country’s wel- 
fare. An anxious enquiry on his lips an hour or two before 
his last breath was about the Communist threat to Nepal ! 
For, Nepal was his beloved Hindu Kingdom from his boy- 
hood. Gandhi wrote a letter offering his condolences to 
Savarkar addressed to his Ratnagiri residence which Savarkar 
had left eight years ago. Gandhiji could send immediate 


condolence by a telegram to His Exalted Highness the Nizam 
of Hyderabad on his mother’s death, but he wrote a letter to 
Savarkar and that too to a wrong address. Can this wrong 
address on the letter be a mere slip of memory committed 
by the unfailing mind of Gandhiji ? Leaders, statesmen and 
newspapers from America, England, France, Germany and 
Japan knew that the residence of Savarkar was at Bombay. 
Be that as it may, Savarkar, however, thanked Shriman 
Gandhiji sincerely in fluent Hindi, ending his letter with an 
inquiry about the health of Gandhiji. What a geniality of a 
wronged soul ! 

The first quarter of the year 1945 witnessed a historic 
event. It was at this juncture that the late Bhulabhai Desai, 
the leader of the Congress party in the Central Assembly, 
who had seen the Viceroy, Gandhiji and Liaqat Ali during 
the early part of the year, made a secret pact with Mr. Liaqat 
Ali Khan, the Secretary of the League Party in the Central 
Assembly, with the secret consent of the truth-seeker, 
Gandhiji, who had always declared that there was no place 
for secrecy with him. This treacherous pact surpassed the 
Rajaji formula. It agreed to a percentage of fifty-fifty in all 
representations for the Hindus and the Muslims. The parity 
of the alliance of the Congress with the League in the Central 
Assembly now ripened into a reality. Shortly after this Lord 
Wavell, the Viceroy, flew to London on March 21, 1945, with 
these proposals for the formation of an Interim Government at 
the Centre. This was a further loss of Hindu rights. This 
pact was also supported by the Sapru Committee’s findings 
which were cabled to Lord Wavell in London simultaneously. 
There was a race, as it were, of betraying Hindu interests 
amongst all the Hindu leaders except the Mahasabha leaders ! 
Though the Sapru Committee stood for a Union of India as 
also for adult franchise and joint electorates, it conceded 
parity of representation in the Central Assembly and the 
Union Executive between Muslims and Hindus other than 
the Scheduled Castes. The Muslims pocketed the proposals of 
parity. The British Government as usual accepted the parity, 
the worst part of the proposals, and threw away the proviso 
for joint electorates ! The Hindu Mahasabha never hoped for 
any honourable settlement to come out of it. Dr. Moonje 


warned the Hindus not to expect too much of Wavell’s visit to 

Though Savarkar was keeping indifferent health and was 
hardly out of his bereavement, he had to direct some impor- 
tant features of policy regarding the Hindu States. So in 
response to the fervent appeals from the States’ Hindu leaders 
like Sri Anand Priya of Baroda, he presided over the All-India 
Hindu States Conference at Baroda in April 1945. Then 
in the month of May, Savarkar’s only daughter Miss Prabhat 
was married at Poona <o Sri Madhavrao Chiplunkar, the 
grandson of the brother of Sri Vishnushastri Chiplunkar, the 
brilliant colleague of Tilak and eminent essayist of Maha- 
rashtra. During his stay at Poona Savarkar addressed the 
Hindu Rashtra Dal, — ^now outlawed — ^then a new semi- 
volunteer organization aiming at the spread and propagation 
of unalloyed Savarkarism for the consolidation and all-out 
social and political revolution in conformity with its ideal, 
which could not be principally preached in any other 

After a stay of nine weeks in London, Lord WaveU returned 
to India in the first week of June with the so-called Wavell 
Plan. At one stroke the three-year old deadlock was sought 
to be broken by the Viceroy through an announcement. In 
his broadcast His Excellency, the Viceroy, said he proposed, 
with the full support of His Majesty’s Government, to invite 
Indian leaders to take counsel with him with a view to the 
formation of a new Executive Council, more representative of 
organized political opinion. The proposed new Plan, he 
declared, would represent the main communities and would 
include an equal proportion of caste-Hindus and Muslims. 
There was no reference to the Indian States in the Plan, not 
to speak of Indian Independence. The Plan, however, pre- 
supposed full co-operation in the war against Japan by the 
leaders. Consequently, the erstwhile “ Quit India heroes ” 
were released to take part in the Simla Conference without 
even a shadow of success in their struggle. The Congress 
leaders were ready now to fight for British imperialism 
against the Japanese aggression and even against Netaji 
Subhas Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army as openly 
declared by Pandit Nehru. 


With the blessings of the Mahatma and the betrayal of the 
nation sponsored by the Congress, Lord Wavell thus killed the 
last hope of democracy in India with his nefarious Plan. The 
Muslims who formed only 22 per cent of the total Indian 
population were given parity in representation with the caste- 
Hindus consisting of 54 per cent of the total Indian population. 
Hindus who formed nearly 75 per cent of the total Indian 
population were thereby divided between the caste-Hindus 
and the Scheduled Classes. The Congress represented the 
caste-Hindus through its Muslim President, Maulana Azad. 
The Muslims were represented through the League President, 
Mr. Jinnah, the parties in the Central Assembly were repre- 
sented through the leaders of their parties in the Central 
Assembly, and the Premiers of the Provinces were also 
invited to attend the Conference. The Sikhs and the Scheduled 
Classes were represented by their own leaders. The Hindu 
Mahasabha was the only political party that was deliberately 
ignored and dropped out of the Simla Conference. Even the 
mildest possible leader from the Hindu Mahasabha would not 
have stooped to agree to the anti-democratic, anti-progressive 
and unjust proposal of parity between the caste-Hindus and 
the Muslims. 

The Conference met at Simla on June 28, 1945. Within the 
first few hours the Simla Conference agreed to the basic 
aspect of the Wavell Plan, namely the prosecution of war 
against Japan. But weeks of open and private negotiations 
thereafter failed to produce an agreement on the personnel 
of the Central Government Executive and the Simla Con- 
ference ended on the 14th July 1945, keeping on record the 
acceptance of the parity between the caste-Hindus and the 
Muslims. Thus the Wavell Plan failed according to plan, but 
assuring a further gain to the Muslims ! 

The Working Committee of the Hindu Mahasabha met in 
the meantime on the 24th and 25th of June at Poona. At a 
mammoth meeting attended by over seventy-five thousand 
people on the grounds of the S. P. College, Dr. S. P. Mookerjee 
under the presidentship of Savarkar made a very stirring 
speech condemning the Wavell Plan. A protest week was 
observed from July 1 to July 7, 1945, at the behest of the 
Hindu Mahasabha all over India. Accordingly thousands of 


meetings all over India simultaneously condemned the 
Wavell Plan as anti-Hindu, anti-national and anti-demo- 
cratic ! At a Bombay meeting during the protest week 
Dr. Mookerjee, the President of the Hindu Mahasabha, 
described the Simla Conference as a combination of 
conspirators comprising British imperialists, Muslim Leaguers 
and the Congress leaders. 

There was a sense of embarrassment and shame in the 
general feeling and tone of the public for their nationalist 
leaders who had .stooped so low. Some of the Congress 
leaders were ashamed ir their heart of hearts for having 
supported the anti-national Wavell Plan. They had lost their 
face. Their Premiers, Pandit Govind Vallabh Pant and Sri B. 
G. Kher, were seized for a time with a feeling of perturbation 
at the permanent reduction of the Hindu majority to a 
minority and at the elevation of the Muslim minority to the 
majority. But their repentant awakening proved to be 
abortive and momentary. Perhaps their Mahratta blood must 
have boiled at the crushing humiliation meted out to the 
national majority of Hindusthan. 

Savarkar called the parity between Hindus and Muslims as 
a negation of nationalism, and said that to honest thinking 
men, it was the pyre of Indian nationalism ! Where was the 
man of forward march and progress. Pandit Nehru ? This 
defender of democracy, the dreamer of the shape of things 
to come. Pandit Nehru, was all the while a party to 
this anti-national Wavell Plan. After some time the Congress 
leaders and papers, who always held the prestige of their High 
Command to be more precious than the interests of the nation 
in general, were callous enough to say that the Wavell Plan 
was an interim arrangement and so it could be tolerated. This 
face-saving argument of the leaders of the Congress evoked 
a crushing retort from Dr. Mookerjee who asked the Congress 
leaders : “ Can you ever commit an interim suicide ? If 

not, then suicide once committed can never be undone ! ” 

The country-wide protests against the parity proposals 
envisaged by the Wavell Plan were growing daily. The Hindu 
Mahasabha intended to launch direct action against the 
Wavell Plan. As a first step, eminent Mahasabha leaders like 
Sir Gokulchand Narang, Raja Maheswar Dayal and Rai 


Bahadur Harischandra renounced their titles. But unfortun- 
ately the Mahasabha President, Dr. S. P. Mookerjee, utterly 
failed to turn the boiling opposition to good account and to 
launch any direct action in defence of democracy and the 
rights of the national majority — the direct action which he 
once so much clamoured for inopportunely. Had the Hindu 
Mahasabha done this, it would have risen in the eyes of the 
public. It was here that the rudder of the ship of the Hindu 
Mahasabha broke down and the rudderless ship was swept 
down along with the inexperienced and vacillating captain 
into the trough of the popular estimation in the election held 
soon thereafter. 

But the fact that the Hindu Mahasabha was the only 
political organization that stood stubbornly against the anti- 
national Wavell Plan will be recorded by history. Times 
needed a stronger action and efforts than they put in. Their 
protests were not powerful enough to bring down the prestige 
of the leaders of the Congress which had stooped to the 
anti-national, anti-democratic and anti-Hindu parity proposals 
as conceived by the Wavell Plan. Mere condemnation could 
not crush out the Congress misdeeds at the Simla Conference. 
It was thus that what Savarkar had won at Bhaganagar and 
Bhagalpur, Mookerjee lost at Simla. The Mahasabha really 
missed the bus ! 

After the failure of the Simla Conference, there were 
bickerings among Congressmen for a while. It was rumoured 
that Sardar Patel and Pandit Nehru were impatient of the 
moves taken by Rajaji and Bhulabhai Desai behind their back 
which had led to the proposals of the Wavell Plan. Sardar 
Patel was so indignant that at a meeting on the 9th August 
in Bombay he thundered : “ If such diplomatic efforts are 

repeated, take it from me that I would be out of the Congress.” 
But the outcry and indignation was not the white heat, but 
a white-wash to save the party from an internal breakdown. 

Savarkar was feeling the strain of the continuous whirlwind 
propaganda heavily. His health was fast deteriorating. With 
great efforts he could attend to important correspondence and 
allowed only important interviews in spite of medical advice. 
One of the most important interviews that took place in 
Augvist 1945 was with the representative of AUama Mishraki, 


the Chief of the Khaksars, regarding some scheme the 
Khaksars had issued for discussion. 

At this time there was a move by some scheming brains in 
the Mahasabha to throw open the Hindu Mahasabha to the 
non-Hindus. Savarkar advised the Working Committee of 
the Hindu Mahasabha that they should keep the Hindu 
Mahasabha intact inasmuch as every political question in India 
was religious and every religious question was political. He 
further strongly affirmed that the Hindu Mahasabha must 
continue its mission evei after Hindusthan was politically 


During the pendency of the Simla Conference Britain went 
to the polls and there was a landslide against the Conservative 
party and the Labour party was returned to office on July 10, 
1945, with an overwhelming majority in Britain. Almost 
simultaneously Japan surrendered to the Allies in the East. 
World events moved with an electric rapidity. The Viceroy 
of India made a second trip to London in the latter half of 
August 1945, and returned to India after the middle of 
September 1945, to announce general elections to test the 
strength of the political parties, to break the ground for future 
political negotiations with the newly elected representatives, 
to hammer out a constitution and to negotiate a treaty with 
the Constituent Body. 

Now all the issues, implications and intentions were to be 
clarified. Who represented the Muslims and who represented 
the Hindus ? The Congress with its gigantic political 
machinery plunged into the election campaign heart and soul. 
Supported by the ‘ Pakistan ' purse, the Muslim League also 
entered the election arena with ‘ Pakistan or Perish ’ as its 
slogan. The Congress manifesto stressed the Quit India 
demand and the Congress leaders and the press swore by an 
undivided India. The Hindu Mahasabha with its meagre 
purse and scanty press entered the field with the slogans 
‘ Independence and Integrity of India,’ ‘ By our way lies, O 
Hindus, your salvation, Congress way lies your destruction 
and ruin.’ The Mahasabha leaders announced with justifica- 



tion that ‘ a vote for the Congress was a vote for Pakistan ! ' 
Besides scanty press and a scanty purse, there was one more 
disadvantage from which the Hindu Mahasabha suffered. 
Throughout the election period the Hindu Mahasabha lacked 
the iron and dynamic leadership of Savarkar, for he was 
bed-ridden and made no move. As regards the Congress, it was 
the greatest political party in India, and had ruled over seven 
Provinces and had many opportunities to influence people as 
rulers. Besides, it had at its disposal a big press, big purses 
and big political wholetime machinery employed for the 
election campaign. 

And on top of it all came the somersaults of the Congres.s 
leaders that allured the people. Sardar Patel inspired 
confidence in the Hindu electorates by his anti-Pakistan out- 
bursts and anti-League speeches. Congress was rapidly 
gaining confidence and the Hindu Mahasabha was swiftly 
losing its position. In the last week of September 1945, at a 
meeting of the All-India Congress Committee in Bombay, 
Sardar Patel even demonstratively chastised a Muslim 
member, one Mr. Mians, in these wox’ds : “ If you say that the 
Muslim League is a nationalist organization, why are you to 
be found in the Congress at aU ? Ever since the Congress 
abandoned unadulterated nationalism the mischief has grown. 
That was when the Congress accepted the separate communal 
electorates. There have since then been a series of mistakes. 
From minority representation we travelled to the fifty-fifty 
parity principle. Now it would never be repeated. Congres.s 
will never go to the Muslim League.” What a confession 
vindicating Savarkar’s charges against the Congress ! 

Pandit R. S. Shukla, Prime Minister of C.P. and Berar 
declared that if Pakistan was established, Muslims in 
Hindusthan would be treated as foreigners ! In Calcutta, at 
Deshbandhu Park Pandit Nehru thundered that there could 
be no truce with the Muslim League which had always 
opposed the Congress struggle. The Muslim League 
propaganda railed and rained. Mr. Liaqat Ali, the League 
Secretary, said at Delhi, “ The Muslim is a born fighter. He , 
may hesitate to cast a vote for Pakistan, but he would not 
hesitate to shed his blood.” Mr. H. S. Suhrawardy, another 
League Leader, now notorious for his outrageous unconcern 


at the Hindu deaths in the Calcutta killing, challenged Pandit 
Nehru to win a single Muslim seat in the Central or Provincial 
Assembly. And his challenge was unfailing, for not a single 
Muslim seat was won in the election by the Congress from the 
Muslim electorates. In this state, Savarkar persistently sighed 
from his sick-bed for Hindu wisdom. Ailing Savarkar said in a 
frantic and forlorn appeal to the Hindus that disaster would 
overtake India if Congressmen were elected to the Legislatures 
on mere promises. But oe Congress had hypnotized the 
Hindu masses with the . olen thunders and the borrowed 
Mahasabha slogans, and seer.ied to win. 

The most unfortunate aspect of the election affair for the 
Hindu Mahasabha was that its President, Dr. Mookerjee, 
lost his grit and confidence in the nick of time. There was a 
sudden breakdown in his health. Pandit Nehru and Sardar 
Patel who never showed courtesy of inquiring after Savarkar’s 
health even during his serious illness, prepared the ground 
for further events when they all ran to Dr. Mookerjee to 
enquire after his health. The sudden rush and gush of their 
anxiety and interest in the health of Dr. Mookerjee was a 
pointer. He gave up the struggle even before he joined the 
battle ! What would be the fate of the organization led by 
a leader without unbending will and invincible faith ? That 
is what exactly happened in the case of the Hindu Mahasabha’s 
political life. 

In the meanwhile, the question of the I.N.A. men’s trial 
came to the forefront. In the first week of December 1945, 
Savarkar urged Mr. Attlee, the Prime Minister of Great 
Britain, to release all the I.N.A. soldiers without any 
humiliating conditions as an act of grace by declaring a 
general amnesty in view of the general convention of inter- 
national treatment dealt out to war prisoners and in view of 
the very deep discontent aroused in the public mind. The 
Hindu Mahasabha had also observed an I.N.A. day, but the 
Congressmen who had styled the I.N.A. as “ rice soldiers ” 
earlier now took their very side, stole a march over the Hindu 
Mahasabha, and fully utilized the political sympathy and 
energy emanating from the I.N.A. trials for their own party 
ends. Savarkar was bed-ridden ; Bhopatkar and Moonje 
moved in the affair, but without response. 


The interest taken by top-ranking leaders of the Congress 
in the I.N.A. trials may have been with an eye to the elections, 
as was evinced from the very ungenerous attitude they 
adopted towards the I.N.A. men after they were firmly 
installed into power. Similarly, the imflinching oaths taken 
by the Congress leaders to stand by united India were shame- 
lessly betrayed afterwards and the Hindu Mahasabha slogans 
openly adopted as their own by Congress leaders like Sardar 
Patel, proved veritable bombshells on the popular support to 
the Mahasabha candidates, and the sentinels and defenders of 
Akhand Hindusthan were routed in their last ditch. But let 
it be recorded here that their heroic failure was more glorious 
than the pyrrhic success of the Congress candidates. The 
Hindu Mahasabha candidates, like Bhopatkar and Bhai 
Parmananda stood unflinchingly at the risk of their lives with 
an iron will as the sign-posts warning the Hindus : “ Our 

way lies your salvation ; Congress way lies your ruin ! ” 

The Hindu Mahasabha was in the end completely wiped out 
of the political picture of India, so far as the election results 
were concerned. And what about the Congress ? Oh ! it 
also met its Waterloo in the fields held by Muslim electorates. 
History repeats. The Rajputs fought Maha Rana Pratap for 
the Moguls, and they also fought the Mahrattas for the Moguls. 
Here the Congress fought the Hindu candidates with terrific 
ruthlessness and routed them. 

But by securing all the thirty-two Muslim seats in the 
Central Assembly, the Muslim League routed all the Congress 
Muslim candidates so completely that had not Mr. Asaf Ali 
been elected by a joint electorate at Delhi, there would have 
been no Muslim left even for adoption purposes for the self- 
styled Indian National Congress which boasted of representing 
the Muslims also. The victory of the Pakistani forces was so 
complete and great that Mr. Jinnah declared in Delhi that his 
victory was the victory of a nation and the Leaguers achieved 
what Hitler could not. With the Congressmen playing the 
role of Chamberlain, his boast held much water. 

One more point deserves attention. The Hindu Mahasabha 
was the only Hindu Organization that stood by its pledges to 
the Hindu Nation through fire and water. What were the 
Arya Samajists and the R.S.S. men doing ? Let it be said to 


the credit of the small per cent of those defenders of the Hindu 
Nation from these two organizations that they did help the 
Hindu candidates far-sightedly enough, but let it also be 
recorded that a good many persons from these two great 
institutions of Hindu hope and faith kept culpable neutrality 
over such a life and death struggle in which the Hindu Nation 
was involved, while the majority of them were reported to 
have voted for the Congress. 

This colossal rout accelerated the deterioration in the health 
of Savarkar so much so ’hat in a telegram sent to Sri N. C. 
Chatterji he bewailed. “ My nerve system has been literally 
shattered for the last two years. It has now collapsed.” 
Savarkar now realized from his sick bed the implications of 
the success of the Congress in the elections at the hands of the 
Hindu electorates. He realized that the battle for Akhand 
Hindusthan was almost lost. So great was the nervous 
exhaustion that followed from this that at times in his bed he 
showed signs of blurred memory and soon on expert medical 
advice, he was removed on January 1, 1946, to Walchandnagar 
near Poona where the undivided devotion to the Hindu cause 
in Seth Gulabchand and his reverential affection for his leader 
looked after Savarkar’s health with great care and anxiety. 


From Parity to Pakistan 


The year 1946 opened with general elections to the 
Provincial Legislatures all over India. Congressmen used the 
same old tactics and reiterated the pledge of a United India. 
On January 14, 1946, Sardar Patel thundered at Ahmedabad : 
‘‘ Granting of Pakistan is not in the hands of the British Gov- 
ernment. If Pakistan is to be achieved, Hindus and Muslims 
will have to fight. There will be a civil war. The Congress 
is no longer going to knock at the doors of the League. The 
Congress has tried to settle with the League many times. But 
it has been kicked every time.’’ Such masterpieces of the 
Sardar, the steam-roller of the power and prestige of the party 
that had ruled, and the press, purse and propaganda let loose 
by the greatest political organization in India, overran the 
Hindu Mahasabha candidates in elections. And the Hindu 
Mahasabha was entirely thrown into the shade. The League 
emerged as the authoritative mouthpiece of the Muslims and 
the Congress of the Hindus alone. 

In the meanwhile, anti-British feelings reached a climax. 
A burst-up became inevitable. The I.N.A. trial gave rise to 
it ; the Royal Indian Naval Ratings and the Royal Indian Air 
Force raised the banner of revolt in Bombay, Calcutta and 
Karachi. The backbone of the Imperial structure thus 
seemed to break down. The army, too, was feeling and 
experiencing the pangs of freedom. 

The British Labour Party after coming into power sent a 
delegation of ten members of the British Parliament to India. 
The delegation had a four-week survey and talks with various 
leaders of all parties. They had invited Savarkar to meet 
them, but Savarkar was not then in Bombay. He was 
convalescing at Walchandnagar, The Delegation returned to 
England on February 10. On February 19 Lord Pethick 
Lawrence, the Secretary of State for India, announced the 


intention of His Majesty’s Government to send out a delegation 
of three Cabinet Members, Sir Stafford Cripps, Mr. A. V 
Alexander and himself, to discuss with the Indian i>arty 
leaders on the spot the question of solving the political dead- 
lock in the country. On March 15 the British Prime Minister, 
Mr. Attlee, declared India’s right to attain full independence 
within or even without the British Commonwealth, if she so 
desired and in respect of the minority problem of India he 
said : “We cannot allow a minority to place their veto on the 
advance of the majoriiy.” The British Cabinet Mission 
subsequently arrived in ] >eihi on March 24. Numerous inter- 
views, discussions and deliberations took place in the Viceregal 
Lodge. On April 5 Pandit Nehru thundered : “ The Congress 
is not going to agree to the Muslim League demand for 
Pakistan under any circumstances whatever, even if the 
Britiwsh Government agrees to it.” What history records is 
quite the reverse ! Only a few days after this warUkc speech, 
a whole nation witnessed that Nehru pathetically enough ate 
his words in the end ! 

Another outstanding feature on the political scene was that 
Mr. Jinnah represented the Muslims, Maulana Azad 
represented the Hindus and the Nawab of Bhopal, the princely 
India. Thus the whole of India was represented by Muslim 
leaders ! Mr. Jinnah was re-affirming his anti-Indian role, 
and refused to call himself an Indian even. 

Jinnah’s lieutenants were not lagging behind. Before ihe 
League Legislators’ Convention held in Delhi, Gandhiji’s 
Shahid Sahib, Mr. H. S. Suhrawardy, declared on April 9, 
in Hitleric vein that Pakistan was Muslims’ latest, but not 
the last demand and if the Britishers entrusted the destiny of 
India to Congress Junta, the Muslim League would not allow 
the Central Government to function even for a day. Another 
Muslim League leader, Sir Firoz Khan Noon, warned the 
British Government that the destruction and havoc that the 
Muslims would do in the country would put into the shade 
what Chengizkhan had done.^ 

While the discussions and deliberations with the Cabinet 
Mission were going on at Delhi, Savarkar returned to Poona 

1 A Noted Journalist, Hopes and Fears (with a foreword by 
Dr. Pattabhai Sitaramayya) , pp. 21-22. 


on April 3, from Walchandnagar slightly recovered from the 
nervous exhaustion, and was convalescing at the Poona Hotel. 
On January 20 he had a severe heart attack at Walchandnagar. 
Sri Bhopatkar saw Savarkar in Poona before he put a 
memorandum on the 15th of April before the Mission along 
with Dr. Mookerjee on behalf of the Hindu Mahasabha. The 
memorandum stated “ that geographically, politically and 
culturally India was one whole and indivisible. This integrity 
and indivisibility must be maintained whatever the cost and 
sacrifice be.” The memorandum further warned the Mission 
that partition of India into two or more sovereign States under 
any guise or disguise would be economically unsound and 
disastrous, politically unwise and suicidal. 

Political scenes were changing with rapidity. A Tripartite 
Conference consisting of the British ministers, the Viceroy, 
representatives of the Congress and the League, was held at 
Simla, on May 12, 1946, but it failed to arrive at any decision. 
The Mission then came out with a new proposal now known 
as the State Paper of May 16. Tliis document repudiated 
Mr. Jinnah’s claim for division of India, contemplated a Central 
Union although with powers restricted only to matters of 
external affairs, defence and communications, gave full 
autonomy to the provinces, and provided facihties for the 
provinces to form themselves into three groups two of which, 
B and C, were mischievously and evidently conceived as a 
concession to the League Lord. A Constituent Assembly was 
to be elected by the Provincial Legislatures for framing a 
constitution for the Indian State ; an Interim Government 
comprising representatives of the major communities and 
important minorities was planned ; and the States, freed from 
the crown paramountcy, were to join the Constituent 
Assembly for hammering out a Union of the provinces and the 
States. The electorate was divided into the General, Muslims 
and Sikhs. Thus in the land of the Hindus, there was no 
electorate named after them in the administration of India. 

The League accepted the State Paper on May 22, hoping 
to work out Pakistan through the proposed groups, and 
Mr. Jinnah proposed to hold out his hand of co-operation to 
the Congress. The Congress, too, accepted the Plan of May 
16 as it stood, and declared its willingness to join the 


Constituent Assembly with a view to framing the constitution 
of a free, united and democratic India. 

Towards the end of June 1946, the Cabinet Mission returned 
to London leaving it to Lord Wavell to work out the procedure 
and form an Interim Government. On July 10 Pandit Nehru 
told a press conference at Bombay that there would be finally 
no grouping as the Congress held that the provinces should 
be considered free at the initial stage to opt out of the section 
or group in which they were placed. This unstatesmanly 
statement of Pandit Nehi t, gave a handle to Mr. Jinnah to 
push his demands, and ou J’Jy 27, 1946, the League Council 
resolved at its meeting in Bombay to resort to Direct Action, 
rejecting the Cabinet Mission proposal which it had previously 
accepted ! Mr. Jinnah refused to discuss the ethics of violence 
and non-violence and the League Secretary declared their 
determination to employ every means in their power to 
achieve their object. The Sind minister preached destruction 
and extermination of every one who opposed them.^ There- 
upon the Congress nervously ran to patch up this gulf, and 
reasserted acceptance of the State Paper fully ! On August 
24 the Viceroy declared his resolve to form an Interim 
Government of sixteen Members out of which six were to be 
the nominees of the Congress, five of the League and five 
representatives of the minorities. The Congress took office on 
September 2, 1946, gave one out of its six seats to the 
Depres.sed Classes and one more to a Muslim thus reducing 
mercilessly the national majority to a minority in the Cabinet, 
and all this when the Muslim League did not even co-operate 
in the formation of the Interim Government. 

The acceptance of office by the Congress put Jinnah in a 
trap. Jinnah rightly believed that the Congress under its 
historic leadership of Gandhiji and Nehru would be nervous 
about the formation of an All-India Government without the 
co-operation of the Muslims ! Two Muslims were appointed 
temporarily and one of them was almost stabbed to death at 
Simla, and he ultimately succumbed. To make the functioning 

^ The Times of India, Bombay, dated 29-7-1946. 


of the Interim Government led by the Congress impossible, 
the Muslim League started its Direct Action on August 16, 
which led to an unprecedented holocaust in Calcutta, well- 
known now as the great killing, spreading the virus and 
holocaust over the Noakhali District in Eastern Bengal and 
followed by looting, kidnapping, forced mass conversions, forced 
marriages, arson and mass murders of the Hindus in villages 
and towns in the Eastern Districts of Bengal. Acharya J, B. 
Kripalani, the then President-elect of the Meerut Session of the 
Congress, toured those affected parts of Bengal, saw those 
places of inhuman atrocities and mass murders, and declared 
in a shuddering voice that they were planned and pre-organ- 
ized by the Muslims. “ War was not like this,” wrote a military 
officer in the Statesman, Calcutta. The Congress leaders in 
power proved utterly unequal to the task of putting down the 
organized fanaticism of the Muslims. British imperialism 
had physically disarmed the Hindus, Gandhism had enfeebled 
them mentally, and the curfew Raj had done the rest for them. 
Amidst such a confusion and chaos Jinnah shrewdly pushed 
his lieutenants into the Interim Government without even 
raising liis usual objection to the inclusion of the Congress 
Muslim in the Interim Government and the fight for Pakistan 
thus began with renewed force and fire to sabotage the 
Mission Plan which aimed at setting up an All-India centre, 
which the Muslim League detested. With a view to dealing 
a fatal blow at the Plan, the Muslim League leaders including 
those in the Interim Government spoke and wrote in fire and 
all this under the very eyes of Pandit Nehru and the Home 
Member, Sardar Patel ! Mr. Ghaznafar Ali Khan, the Health 
Minister in the Viceroy’s Interim Government, speaking at 
Lahore, said, “ If Mohammad Bin Kasim and Muhammad of 
Ghazni could invade India with armies composed of a few 
thousands, and yet were able to overpower lakhs of Hindus, 
God willing, a few lakhs of Muslims will yet overwhelm crores 
of Hindus.” ^ On another occasion he asked the Hindus to 
embrace Islam and to save themselves from the holocaust. 
And yet this communalist upstart was allowed to continue in 
the Interim Government. Echoes of the terrific tragedies in 
Bengal were on the lips of even the dying Pandit Madan 

I The Free Press Journal, Bombay. 


Mohan Maiaviya at Benares. Moved by the multitudes of 
Hindu refugees, deprived of their homes, wives, children and 
everythiiig i)i Bengal, the feelings of the Hindus ran high in 
every province. In Bihar, the Land of the Guptas, furious riots 
followed on a terrific scale, so much so that Mr. Jinnah 
bewailed that retaliation for Bihar would be a catastrophe. 
Dr. Moonje warned the Hindus at a meeting in Kurukshetra 
that the Hindus were facing a civil war. 

Lord Wavel], the Commander-in-Chief and Pandit Nehru 
flew to the scene in Biha Sardar Patel resorted to drastic 
action, Nehru threatened .he Bihar Hindus with bullets and 
aerial bombardment, the poh se opened fire on several occasions 
and all the Government forces suppressed ruthlessly the 
uprising in Bihar. Gandhiji went one stop further. He 
tlireatened the Bihar Hindus with a fast. Nehru said that if 
the Bihar Hindus wanted to kill the Muslims, they should 
first kill him. There was wide discontent among the Hindus 
at the well-meant but incompatible attitude of the Congress 
leaders who helplessly witnessed and heard about the mas- 
sacres of the Hindus in Bengal. Even Congress-minded 
papers resented this attitude. The Yashoda in its weekly 
issue (Vol. VI, No. 4, 78 Gandhian era) observed in its 
editorial: “If Nehru’s body must fall, it must fall at 
Noakhali. If Gandhiji is to fast, he should fast in Noakhali. 
The dark figures of the great tragedy enacted at Noakhali 
must be brought to justice.” The paper further observed in 
its News and Notes that Noakhali bled, and nobody went 
near the place till there was no more to bleed. And then the 
Viceroy and other dignitaries conducted post-mortem exami- 
nations and gave their verdicts so obviously devoid of truth 
that they could deceive nobody. The Weekly added in its 
last article : “ But the role of Gandhiji throughout is as 
untenable as it is incredulous. Till the communal flare in 
Bihar, he was passive. Only to Bihar he issues his clarion 
call for repentance and good behaviour on penalty of his 
penance to slow death.” The Weekly concludes : “ No other 
explanation can be offered for his guilty inactivity over the 
East Bengal affair.” 

All this account is narrated only as a matter of history. The 
author is not out to justify, nor is it needed to do so, the 


attacks made by the Hindus in Bihar on other religionists. 
However, he cannot but feel the unbelievable passive attitude 
on the part of the Congress leaders in power towards the 
atrocities committed by the Muslims elsewhere for the same 
reason ; for violence, whenever, wherever and howsoever 
it occurs, must be condemned. That violence which provokes 
the subsequent violence must be curbed and condemned first. 
And without doubt Congress leaders lamentably failed in this 
sacred duty. If the forces of justice and humanity are real 
and potent in your breast, you cannot remain a passive 
spectator at one time and an active defender at another. 

Savarkar returned to Bombay on August 5, 1946. By now 
Hindu-Muslim riots had become a common affair in Bombay. 
The Hindu Sanghatanists were still valiantly defending the 
hearths and homes from the organized mass fury of the un- 
declared civil war by the Muslims in Bengal, Bihar, Bombay 
and the Punjab. Sri Rajendra Roy Chaudhari, President of 
the Noakhali District Hindu Sabha, died heroically in defence 
of Hindu homes and Hindu honour. Hindu Sabhas all over 
India arranged for the relief of the Noakhali Hindu sufferers 
with the active aid of the perennial, patriotic and pan-Hindu 
sympathies of the Hindu leaders like Raja Narayanlal 
Bansilal, Bombay. 

Soon after the Muslim League’s joining the Interim Govern- 
ment, a first class crisis developed. After their entry into the 
Interim Government, the Leaguers refused to join the Consti- 
tuent Assembly. 

Sardar Patel got indignant and drove Pandit Nehru to the 
Viceroy. The Viceroy, who had, to quote the words of the 
Times of India, Bombay, made untiring efforts to get justice 
and ‘ even more than justice for the League,’ was charged 
with conspiring with the League. Patel had also thundered 
at the Meerut Session of the Congress that either the League 
must join the Constituent Assembly or get out of the Interim 
Government. There seemed no way out. So the British 
Government invited Mr. Jinnah and Nehru to London for a 
Conference for the solution of the legal points arisen out of the 
interpretations put by the contending parties. Accordingly 
Mr. Jinnah and Pandit Nehru flew to London. There with his 
le^al acumen Mr. Jinnah carried the day and the vociferous 


Pandit Nehru failed. This perturbed Sardar Patel and 
he thundered that the Congress would not accept the British 
Government’s statement of December 6. But the All-India 
Congress Committee in its Session on January 15, 1947, swal- 
lowed that bitter pill too when Sardar Patel remained absent. 
Now the decision given by the British Government threatened 
the legal existence of the Constituent Assembly. It meant 
that the constitution could not be valid unless it was approved 
by the Muslim League ! 

In the meantime, the hindu Mahasabha Session was held 
in the last week of December 1946, at Gorakhpur, under the 
presidentship of Sri L. B. Bhopatkar. The Hindu Mahasabha 
reiterated its demand for a Sovereign Independent State and 
its faith in the indivisibility and integrity of India. In 
December 1946, the Constituent Assembly opened its Session 
and Dr. Jayakar was heckled for his conciliatory attitude 
towards the League by those very Congressmen whose history 
was full of national surrenders and who within a few months 
of getting into power betrayed the nation’s integrity. No less 
a personality than Dr. Ambedkar vigorously castigated the 
Congress leaders in the Constituent Assembly ‘for killing a 
strong Centre themselves.’ The misunderstanding of the 
political issue, and the indecisive, short-sighted and vacillating 
policy on the part of the Congress leaders dismayed the political 

In the midst of such a gloomy, grave and despairing 
situation came the realization of the correctness of the fear- 
less, far-sighted and unbending lead that had been given by 
Savarkar. Dr. S. P. Mookerjee in his letter of February 10, 
1947, wrote to Savarkar : “ If the Hindus had only listened 
to your call, they would not have remained as slaves in the 
land of their birth.” The confusion and the prevailing chaos 
had begun to trouble the mind of Savarkar. He gave a sigh 
of relief at the Pan-Hindu consciousness as regards self- 
respect which the land of the Guptas had shown and he, there- 
fore, sent a donation to the Bihar Provincial Hindu Sabha 
‘ for the relief of the heroic Hindu sufferers of Bihar.’ 

*1110 British Cabinet was now fast txirning the pages of 
history. In February 1947, the British Government announced 
their intention to take necessary steps to effect the transfer 


of Power to responsible Indian hands by a date not later than 
June 1948. The termination of Lord Wavell’s wartime 
appointment and the appointment of Viscount Mountbatten as 
his successor were also announced simultaneously. The 
defeated forces of Akhand Hindusthan were now striving 
valiantly to rally again. In the first week of the following 
month, Savarkar blessed the Hindu-Sikh unity sponsored by 
Master Tara Singh in his forlorn attempts for maintaining the 
integrity of India, and expressed the hope that “Guru 
Govindsingh would steel the hearts of the Hindu-Sikh 
brotherhood and strengthen the hands in fighting for the 
freedom and the integrity of India.” 

The undeclared Muslim uncivil war that disgraced the 
Indian brotherhood, nationhood and motherhood was still 
raging on. The big guns of the Congress had lost control over 
the situation. The Home Member, Sardar Patel, true to his 
soldierly frankness described the grave situation when he 
said that almost every Muslim servant in the Govermnent was 
Pakistani. His advice in a helpless mood was that everybody 
should be a policeman and protect himself. 

By this time the demand for a separate Province of West 
Bengal was being hotly discussed and debated in Bengal. The 
partition of Bengal, which was ruthlessly condemned forty 
years ago, was demanded now by the kith and kin of 
Khudiram Bose. What a queer fate ! On March 22, 1947, in 
a statement Savarkar “ supported the demand for a separate 
Hindu Majority Province in West Bengal owing loyal alle- 
giance to a consolidated, strong and sovereign Central Hindu- 
sthan State.” 

As declared by the British Government, Lord Wavell made 
his exit from India towards the end of March 1947. The New 
Viceroy came in. Savarkar wired to the new Viceroy, Lord 
Mountbatten, urging him to consult the Mahasabha President 
and Master Tara Singh before any fundamental changes 
affecting the Hindus were effected. Savarkar knew that India 
was fast approaching a momentous decision. He, therefore, 
urged the Bengal Hindu Sabha and the Bengal Hindus on 
April 4, 1947, to demand a separate new Hindu Province in 
West Bengal and to expel the Muslim trespassers from Assam 
at any cost. He also demanded that the contiguous Hindu 


Majority Districts of Sind should be joined to the Bombay 
Province. Savarkar concluded his statement by saying that 
the Murlim minority would be given the same kind of treat- 
ment as would be meted out to the Hindu minorities in the 
Muslim majority provinces.^ 

Savarkar feared that Assam which was tagged on to the 
Eastern Group of Pakistan would fall a victim to Muslim 
aggression. Assam was threatened by the Muslim Direct 
Action on the one hand and the Muslim influx into the 
provin^'e on the other. S . he again warned towards the end 
of April 1947, Sri BardoL u ihe Prime Minister of Assam, and 
Sri Vishnudas, the Revenue Minister, not to surrender an 
inch to the Muslims and asked the ministers to eject every 
Muslim trespasser old and new to a man. Both of them duly 
acknowledged the telegrams and with due assurance. In the 
same month Savarkar asked the Bengal Hindus ‘ to beware 
of Gandhiji’s scheming platitudes avowing open hostility to 
the demand for framing Hindu majority Provinces in the East 
and West of India.’ The new Viceroy interviewed the leaders 
of the Congress and the League and flew to London in May 
1947. On the eve of liis departure Dr. Mookerjee had put his 
demand for a separate Hindu Province in the West of Bengal. 
The British Cabinet approved the blueprint of the Viceroy 
and the swift procedure for its execution. 

Now the final decision was reached. Savarkar knew that 
the last moment to be or not to be had come. On May 29, 
1947, in a fervent and forlorn appeal to the Congressites 
Savarkar urged them not to betray the electorates and India 
by agreeing to a scheme involving vivisection of the Mother- 
land. He reminded them that they had not been elected to 
the legislatures on the issue of partition and their Constituent 
Assembly had also no right ah initio even to consider such a 
proposal. Hence he urged upon them to resign their seats 
and posts and to seek re-election on the clear-cut issue of 
Pakistan or Akhand Hindusthan, if they were for the parti- 
tion of India. Savarkar further suggested to the Congress 
leaders that they might demand a plebiscite to decide such a 
momentous issue involving the life and death of the nation 
and the destiny of future generations. But who was there 

1 Free Hindusthan^ Bombay, dated 6-4-1947. 


in his senses in the Congress to consider such a proposal in 
a democratic way when the wordy Congress democrats were 
reeling in the drunken joy of party and personal power ? 
What other country has witnessed such a betrayal ? 

Th e Congress leaders were now in a mood of speedy sur- 
rendering. Speaking at the U. P. Political Conference, Pandit 
Nehru declared on April 29, 1947 : “ The Muslim League can 
have Pakistan if they wish to have it.” Sardar Patel said on 
April 14, 1947, in Bombay ; “ If India should be partitioned, 
it could only be done after mutual discussion amongst our- 
selves and in a peaceful manner.” Dr. Rajendra Prasad 
showed anxiety for the division of the defence forces. The 
Congress leaders spoke and acted as if the integrity and 
indivisibility of Hindusthan was a matter of the past with 
them ! So now Unity and Integrity of India was the concern 
of Savarkar alone ! 

The Viceroy soon returned with the sanction of the British 
Cabinet for his proposal and on June 3, 1947, the Prime 
Minister of Britain from London and the Viceroy from Delhi 
announced simultaneously their new plan known as the 
June 3rd Plan. The New Plan contemplated the creation of 
one or two Dominions by August 15, 1947, provision for 
separate Constituent Assemblies, partition of the Punjab a nd 
Bengal provinces, referendum for Baluchistan, the North- 
West Frontier Province and the Sylhet district of Assam to 
decide what dominion they would join. 

Savarkar was now fighting a lost cause. But as he was the 
truest son of India, he tried to tap every corner, every source, 
every means to avert the political matricide. The Working 
Committee of the Hindu Mahasabha met at Delhi on the 7th 
and 8th June 1947. Savarkar sent a message to President 
Bhopatkar on June 8, saying that the Hindu Sabhaites and the 
Sanghatanists could never willingly sign the death-warrant 
of the integrity of Hindusthan and urged Bhopatkar to 
continue the struggle for re-annexing the revolting Moslem 
provinces and for creating Hindu majority provinces in any 
case — ^Pakistan or no Pakistan — ^in Bengal and the Punjab, and 
for rejoining the contiguous Hindu majority Districts of Sind 
to the Bombay Province. In the interests of Akhand Hindu- 
sthan the Congressites, he said, should be called upon to resign 


their mini %tries and posts and seek re-elections forthwith 
on the issue of Pakistan, but they should not be allowed 
to concede Pakistan and to betray the electorates. He also 
urged the Sind Hindus and other minority communities in 
Sind to press on with all possible means for the separation of 
Hindu majority Districts in Sind and for the re-annexation of 
those districts to the Hindusthan Union.^ 

The Working Committee of the Hindu Mahasabha also 
reiterated its belief : “ India is one and indivisible and there 
will nearer be peace unles>; and until the separated areas are 
brought back into the Inuiau Union and made integral parts 
thereof.” The Mahasabha Working Committee further 
demanded a referendum in the Hindu majority areas in Sind 
and in the Chittagong Hill tribes area in East Bengal 
like the one in the Sylhet District in Assam to allow the 
territories, if the majority in those respective areas desired, 
to accede to the Indian Union. 

The Congress leaders were now well prepared for their final 
consent to the onslaught on the unity of India. In a written 
message read oui> after the usual daily prayer-meeting in 
Delhi, Gandhiji declared on June 9, 1947, that he was not 
opposing the Congress acceptance of the new British Plan. 
Nobody wondered at this news. This was a foregone conclu- 
sion ! And the All-India Congress Committee in its Delhi 
Session on June 14, 1947, accepted the 3rd June Plan by a 
resolution supported by Pandit Nehru, the idol of the nation, 
who had unequivocally professed and declared in the vein of 
Lincoln to defend the integrity of India. This resolution was 
upheld by the nationalist Muslim, Maulana Azad, now sup- 
porting with divine satisfaction the creation of a Communalist 
State out of India. Azad described the Plan as the only way 
to settle India’s problem as the Congress was committed, he 
recalled, to the principle of self-determination and was against 
coercing any unwilling areas to join the Union ! But who 
got the Congress committed to that resolution ? History 
would record that all these Congress brand nationalist leaders 
were at one in coercing other people in accepting Pakistan. 

The Socialists in the All-India Congress Committee 
remained neutral. They had no opinion to offer on such a 

^ Free Hindusthan, Bombay, dated 8-6-1947. 



vital issue in the life of the nation ! The lonely opponent in 
the All-India Congress Committee opposing this nefarious 
black decision and deed was Babu Purushottamdas Tandon 
who appealed to the All-India Congress Committee that 
though the Congress Working Committee had failed them, yet 
the A.I.C.C. had the strength of millions behind them and 
they must reject the resolution the acceptance of which would 
be, he said, an abject surrender to the British and to the 
Muslim League. Sardar Patel’s support to the partition of 
India was a complete transfer scene from sword to surrender. 

Gandhiji put an ultimatum before the A.I.C.C. He 
threatened them either to accept the resolution conceding 
Pakistan or to replace the old tried Congress leaders. He 
advised them to accept the Plan and added that it was their 
duty to stand by their leaders. To the Congress leaders their 
prestige was more important than the destinies of the nation 
and the fate of the millions ! That has been an unfortunate 
characteristic of the Congress leadership. Savarkar repeatedly 
exposed this fact and warned the people to remember that 
the Congress party and their leaders were not greater than 
the nation. Equally forcibly Dr. Ambedkar told the Congress 
bosses in the Constituent Assembly that in deciding the 
destinies of a people, the dignity of the leaders or men or 
parties ought to count for nothing. 

But Gandhiji threw his whole weight and the A.I.C.C. 
accepted the resolution which accepted the creation of 
Pakistan ! ^ And lo ! Gandhiji practised what he preached. 
Did he not tell the nation ten years ago “ Needless to say, the 
Congress can never seek the assistance of British forces to 
resist the vivisection. It is the Muslims who will impose their 
will by force, singly or with British assistance, on an unresist- 
ing India. If I can carry the Congress with me, I would not 
put the Muslims to the trouble of using force. I would be 
ruled by them, for it would be still Indian rule.” 

Gandhiji was a truth-seeker. Who is a truth-seeker ? One 
who clings to truth and right even if the very heavens fall. 
But Gandhiji, the voice of truth and the voice of non-violence, 
who considered even coercing or forcing one’s views on others 

1 Full report of the A.I.C.C. meeting in The Times of India, Bombay, 
dated 16-6-1947. 


a sin, hit the last nail on the coffin of Akhand Hindusthan and 
the resolution was passed. According to Gandhiji, Pakistan 
was an untruth and the truth-seeker became a party to un- 
truth in broad daylight. To Gandhiji Pakistan was a denial 
of God, but he deserted and denied God. The fundamental 
rights of the people, the demand for a nation-wide plebiscite, 
the call and voice of democracy were stifled to death by the 
unrelenting divine dictatorship. And describing this event 
next day, the Free Press Journal^ Bombay, one of the chief 
spokesiiien of the Congres s, flashed in a full banner line the 
news ‘ Nation’s Leaders Betray Country’s Cause ! ’ This was 
the return gift of the Indian National Congress to the Mother- 
land which had suckled it at her breast ! 

There were two men in India who could have smashed the 
proposed scheme of the vivisection of India. They were 
Gandhiji and Savarkar. But because of shattered health, a 
cruel misfortune, the perfidy and levity of those countrymen 
who regarded party above country, Savarkar failed despite 
his superhuman efforts for a period of ten years. With the 
greatest party at his beck and call, Gandhiji could have blown 
up the scheme of Pakistan had he meant it from the bottom 
of his heart. Gandhiji believed that nothing was impossible 
for a Satyagrahi. He, therefore, could have easily declared 
wdth Luther that ‘ peace if possible, but truth at any rate.’ 
But the unfortunate politician in Gandhiji, who always failed 
and failed, got the upper hand and stifled the truth-seeker in 
Gandhiji, and Gandhiji too failed. On the one hand Gandhiji 
proved the maxim of Voltaire who said ‘ he who seeks truth 
should be of no country ’ and on the other, he fulfilled the 
prophecy of his Guru, Gokhale, who foretold that Gandhiji 
would exercise enormous influence on the common man, but 
when the history of political parleys would be written dis- 
interestedly, he would go down in history as a great failure.^ 
Yet the shriek of Akhand Hindusthan was not extinct. At 
the behest of the Working Committee of the Hindu Maha- 
sabha an All-India anti-Pakistan Day was observed on July 3. 
1947, to register a protest against the vivisection of the 
Motherland. There was a considerable response throughout 
India. Big cities like Bombay, Poona, Delhi and others almost 

1 Satyagrahi, Graha and Tare, p. 60. 


suspended all market and business activities. Prabhat ferries 
were taken out, protest meetings were held condemning fhe 
vivisection of India, black Hags were hoisted denouncing the 
partition as a betrayal of the aspirations of the great patriots 
and great martyrs who had laid their lives at the altar of a 
great cause. On August 2, 1947, Savarkar made a very pathetic 
and appealing speech before a mammoth meeting at Poona. 
He told the vast multitude of audience that in a way they 
were also partly responsible for the vivisection of their 
Motherland along with the Congress leaders ; because they 
did not repudiate their leadership at the proper time, and 
added that appeasement would never stop and satisfy the 
aggressor. He recalled how the Congress lead sacrificed 
democracy and nationalism for communalism. He began this 
appealing speech in a very touching tone and said ; “ Since 
you have gathered in thousands to hear a leader like me who 
has attained ill-fame owing to my deathless resistance to the 
creation of Pakistan, I believe, there is yet hope, for the 
survival of this Hindu nation.” 

Savarkar now accepted the defeat of the forces of Akhand 
Hindusthan. The battle was lost, but the war for United 
India was still to continue and Savarkar stood up for it ! He 
thought it proper to record once again his protest against the 
vivisection of India. So a Hindu Convention was held on 8, 1947, at Delhi. Savarkar went to Delhi by air. 
This was his first air flight. Dr. N. B. Khare, the then Premier 
of Alwar, was to preside over it and the Maharaja of Alwar, 
a staunch Hindu and self-respecting ruler was to inaugurate 
it. But owing to the treacherous revolt of the Meos in the 
Alwar State for a Meostan, both of them could not come to 
Delhi and so Savarkar presided over the Convention. 

In his Presidential Address to the Convention Savarkar 
exhorted the Hindus never to accept Pakistan just as they 
never accepted the British Raj and asked them to continue 
their struggle for Akhand Hindusthan. Savarkar warned the 
Hindus that if they did not rise and awake to the real danger 
ahead, there would be many more Pakistans hereafter. Indeed 
he must have had before his mind’s eye some four crores of 
Muslims still remaining in Hindusthan who rioted, agitated 
and were responsible for the demand for vivisection of Hindu- 


sthan in no small measure ! Savarkar further declared that 
there sh mid be no rejoicings on the 15th of August 1947, since 
the Motherland would be actually torn asunder on that day 
and the results of the disintegration were likely to lead to 
bitter feelings and ill-will. 

The Working Committee of the Hindu Mahasabha thereafter 
exhorted the Hindus not to celebrate the 15th of August 1947, 
as Independence Day, in view of the untold sufferings that 
had been inflicted on mi'^'ons of people in different parts of 
the country by the orgy blunder, murder and conversion, 
and the indiscreet arrests and detention of leaders and 
workers amongst the Hindus in all parts of the country. 

One point respecting the Herculean opposition Savarkar 
sponsored to the creation of Pakistan needs to be noted. It 
was the Hindu Mahasabha led by Savarkar that alone strove 
to avert the vivisection of Hindusthan. Let it be recorded 
that the Socialist party which then functioned in the Congress 
kept a culpable silence at the time of such a historical, momen- 
tous issue in the life of the nation and remained neutral in 
the A.I.C.C. when the Congress passed the resolution conced- 
ing the vivisection of India. The Ary a Samajists and the 
R.S.S. remained mere passive spectatoi-s and refused co- 
operation, official or otherwise, even in peaceful demon- 
strations against the vivisection of the Motherland, as if 
nothing had happened in the life of the nation to which they 
pledged their blood, brains and bones morning, noon 
and night ! 


The 15th of August 1947 came, and was celebrated by the 
Congress! tes as a day of national rejoicing. And no doubt it 
was a great day in the history of the world as it saw the birth 
of the biggest Muslim Slate under the sun and as a great force 
was released in Asia in the form of Indian Independence. The 
Mahasabhaites hoisted only the Mahasabha Geruwa flag with 
the Kripan and Kundalini to display the asserting will of the 
Hindus. Savarkar hoisted the new tricolour flag of Free India 
with the Dharma Chakra of Buddhism as well as the Geruwa 


flag with Kripan and Kundalini ; one State Flag and iho nfher 
a Symbol of Akhand Hindusthan. 

Great must have been his exultation at the disappau^inre 
of the Union Jack and the discomfiture of the Khadi 
with its Charkha and the coming up of the nationnl Jiatr, 
Through Savarkar, the Prince of the Indian revolutionaries, 
thousands of martyrs must have saluted the Flag of Indian 
Independence for which they had laid their Jives. In saluting 
and flying the State Flag Savarkar showed his sense of and 
love for democracy. To his perturbed followers he said tha.t 
they should hoist the Bhagwa flag with the Kripan and 
Kundalini as the State flag only after they could get it 
approved by the whole nation in a democratic way. Till then 
this new State Flag represented the Divided India and the 
Geruwa flag with the Kripan and Kundalini the Akhand 
Hindusthan and so he had hoisted both. 

It may be remembered that Gandhiji did not approve the 
State Flag of Free India adopted by the Constituent Assem- 
bly ; for the Dharma-Chakra had replaced his pet Charkha 
and the silk had replaced the rough Khadi. Gandhiji 
expressed this in an article in the Harijan dated the 3rd 
August 1947 and lamented that the Congress flag, i.e. the tri- 
colour Khaddar flag with the Charkha on it had not become 
the national flag and added that if the new flag of the Union 
did not represent the Charkha and Khadi, it was valueless in 
his opinion ! What a love for democracy ! Savarkar’s efforts 
to replace the Charkha by a Chakra were not fruitless. In a 
telegram to Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the Chairman of the Consti- 
tuent Assembly, who happened to be the chairman of the Flag 
Committee of the Constituent Assembly, Savarkar had 
requested them to have at least a strip of the saffron colour 
and a wheel-Chakra instead of the Charkha on the State Flag. 

He did not expect the Constituent Assembly dominated by the 
Congressites, to adopt the Geruwa flag with Kripan and 
Kundalini on it as the State Flag. It may be recalled here 
that Madame Cama of the Abhinava Bharat had unfurled a 
tricolour flag as the flag of Indian Independence as early as 
1907 at the Socialist Conference in Germany ! 

Yet another of Savarkarb warning that breakers were 
ahead came true with a vengeance. Simultaneously with the 


national rejoicings, a terrible wave of wholesale massacre and 
brutality spread over the Punjab and Sind. Unprecedented 
violence was let loose. Pakistan had not been established 
without any gruesome immediate effect. The tidings that 
came from the Punjab were grim and blood-curdling. The 
massarre of men, women and children went on unabated. 

Millions were uprooted from their native soil, their hearths, 
their homes, torn from their dear ones and robbed of all their 
possessions. Nobody was sure of the morrow. Burnt houses, 
looted shop.s, broken skuils, smoking ruins, blood-smeared 
corpses, and mutilated i.tdies scattered all over towns and 
villages, spoke of the blood bath and barbarity unsurpassed 
in other times and climes. The country rang with horror. 

The visionary in Nehru was rudely shaken. He admitted 
in his broadcast on August 19, 1947, that ‘ nearly the whole 
of India celebrated the coming of Independence, but not so 
the unhappy land of the five rivers in the Punjab.’ He also 
said that ‘ there was sufficient disa.ster and sorrow, arson and 
murder, looting and crime of all descriptions.’ Short-sighted 
Congressites were fiddling while the West Punjab was burn- 
ing and bleeding. Nehru appealed to the Hindus and Sikhs 
of the West Punjab not to make mass migration, and he asked 
the people to desist from individual retaliation. He also de- 
clared that if it should be retaliation, it should be Government 
retaliation, which meant war. Pandit Nehru was not far away 
from the truth because in the upper half of India there was 
terrific retaliation as a result of insufferable repercussions and 
emotions evoked by the holocaust in the East and in the West. 
During this crisis Pandit Nehru condemned with burning 
hatred everything that had the appearance of Hindu Sangha- 
tan. In a Delhi speech he declared that he would even resign 
and fight out the Hindu Fascists who clamoured for a Hindu 
State and he further said that he was sure that those Fascists 
would go down the way the Hitlers and Mussolinis went. 

Replying to Nehru on all these points, Savarkar said : ‘ 
“ What were the thousands of Hindu-Sikhs to do when faced 
by an imminent danger of being massacred in cold blood, 
looted, burnt alive, forcibly converted, in short, of being 
exterminated as a racial and national being by the most 

1 Free Hindusthan, Bombay, pp. 16-18 ; 69-71. 


barbarous attacks of an organized, dangerousl3»^ armed and 
fanatically hostile foe and especially when the State as such 
was nowhere in evidence so effectively as to render any the 
least protection to them ? While in the West Punjab the 
dangerously armed Muslims in their thousands were parading 
in the streets, in towns and cities and raising terror-striking 
slogans ‘ Haske liya Pakistan, Marke lenge Hindusthan,’ and 
were planning to capture the East Punjab and Delhi, the 
Congressiies, observed Savarkar, were celebrating their 
bloodless revolution brought about by the vivisection of India, 
although the Hindu Sanghatanists kept shouting that danger 
was ahead and that this was no time to rejoice when they were 
stranded on the top of a volcano already in eruption. He 
added : “ Under these circumstances what wonder is there 
that millions of Hindu-Sikhs prompted by instinct of self- 
preservation and animated by the spirit of Pan-Hindu con- 
solidation rose in arms in the East Punjab, in Bharatpur, in 
Alwar, in Patiala and in Delhi itself and responded to the 
best of their might and means so furiously and effectively 
as to checkmate the Muslim hoards from attempting an 
invasion of the East Punjab, threw them on their defensive 
and saved Delhi itself from being captured by the Muslims 
concentrated there. If Panditji and his Congressite comrades 
are still safe and secure in their seats, they owe it to this 
brave fight which the Hindu Sanghatanist and Sikh forces 
gave in the nick of time. And still it is he who unblushingly 
comes forward to deliver to them a sermon on the exclusive 
right of the State to retaliate. Had a Shivaji or a Ranjit Singh 
been at the helm of the State, he could have demanded with 
propriety that the people should leave the right of retaliation 
in his hands alone. But when the puny Pandit tries to 
demand it in the accent of Shivaji, it strikes as funny as it 
would do if a pigmy standing on his tiptoes tried to rival a 
giant in height.” 

And as to the threats of resignation by Nehru, Savarkar 
said that if the Government was handed over to the Sikh- 
Hindu Sanghatanist coalition, a cabinet could be formed 
which would be not only more efficient than the present 


one, but also will prove to be absolutely indispensable to face 
the stark realities as noted above. 

As regards the misrepresentation of Hindu Raj by Nehru 
and his hatred for everything that was Hindu, Savarkar said 
it was a stunt on the part of Gandhist ministers, leaders and 
pap>ers to cover their dismal and disastrous failure in protect- 
ing the life, property and honour of our nation. Savarkar 
proceeded: “The demand for the Hindu Raj, these pseudo- 
nationalists say, is communal, stupid, medieval, theocratical, 
a menace to the progres"^ of mankind itself ! But they con- 
veniently refuse to tell us w hat they precisely mean by Hindu 
Raj, before they characterize it in the above-mentioned vilify- 
ing terms. Nevertheless, assuming for the sake of argument 
that the demand for a Hindu State deserves this condemnation 
on all these counts, may we ask them : was not the demand 
for a Moslem State at least equally condemnable on these very 
counts ? Did not the Moslems base their claims to own the 
Pakistani Provinces on the ground that the Muslims consti- 
tuted the major community predominating there ? ’’ 

Savarkar further replied to Nehru with equal force and 
fire : “ But instead of fighting against that demand for a 
Moslem Raj you actually abetted the crime of cutting inte- 
grated India right into two halves directly on communal 
lines which the Anglo-Muslim conspirators perpetrated and 
handed over Pakistan to the Moslems so ceremoniously, with 
such ease and grace as you would hand over a cup of tea to a 
welcome guest ! With what face now can you vilify the 
demand for a Hindu Raj on this very count even if it could 
be said to possess all the above traits ? Savarkar goes on : 
“ A Pathani or Nizami Muslim Raj is to Gandhi ji a cent per 
cent Swaraj. But a Hindu Raj ! O no ! It would be com- 
munal, fascist, anti-national and an anathema ! Savarkar 
further observes : “You contend further that our country 
and our State cannot be called Hindusthan and Hindu State 
as some non-Hindu minorities too are citizens thereof. But 
how is that in spite of the presence of the Hindus, Christians, 
Parsees and other non-Muslim minorities in its territory all 
of you and Gandhi ji in particular keep salaming and saluting 


that newly carved out Muslim Rai as Pakistan which 
avowedly and literally means a Holy Muslim Land, a Muslim 
State ? Is it not a fact that almost all States and nations are 
called after the names of what the League of Nations termed 
‘ National Majority ’ predominating in each ? Nor have you 
yourselves ever felt any qualm of conscience in recognizing 
Baluchistan, Waziristan, Afghanistan, Turkastan or the 
Tuxkish State as such in spite of the presence of non-Muslim 
minorities there ? How is it then that the very mention of 
the name of Hindusthan or the Hindu State alone takes your 
breath out as if you were smitten by a snake-bite ? ” 

As for the threat of Nehru that he would fight out those who 
clamoured for Hindu Raj as Hindu Fascists, Savarkar 
retorted : “ The Hindu Sanghatanists cannot be terrorized by 
the threat of such carpet-knights as the Pandit and his clan.” 
He concluded his historic reply to Pandit Nehru : “ The choice 
therefore is not between two sets of personalities but between 
two ideologies, not between Indian Raj and Hindu Raj but 
between Muslim Raj and Hindu Raj, between Akhand Hindu- 
sthan and Akhand Pakistan. The Hindu Sanghatanist ideo- 
logy alone can, therefore, save our nation and re-establish 
an Akhand Hindusthan from the Indus to the Seas.” 

The Congress leaders in their zeal to carve out a secular 
State, which is in fact a noble ideal, fell to de-Hinduising 
Hindusthan. They denounced Hindu Raj, but brought about 
a religious State, a theocratic State, Pakistan. They saluted 
and blessed Pakistan, but cursed with burning hatred the 
appellation Hindusthan. They started to speak of the people 
by calling them Muslims and non-Muslims of India. Their 
speeches, addresses, statements and official announcements 
described and referred to the Muslims as Muslims and to all 
others as the non-Muslims of India. So burning a hatred they 
had even for the word ‘ Hindu ’ and the appellation Hindu- 
sthan that they dropped out those appellations as if the Hindus 
in their Homeland were a dying, vanishing race like the 
twentieth century empires. 

At a post-prayer meeting in Delhi on June 12, 1947, Gandhiji 
told his audience that Pandit Nehru refused to call the non- 


Pakistan areas as Hindusthan and Gandhiji further said : 
“ The Muslim majority areas might call themselves Pakistan, 
but the rest and the largest part of India need not call itself 
Hindusthan.” Could un-Hindu nationalism go further ? 
Savai’kar pitied this inferiority complex and the cowardly 
attitude on the part of the Congress leaders. Savarkar never 
said that he wanted to base the Hindu State on Plinduism. 
The concept of Hindu Raj was not based on Hinduism but on 
Hindutva. And Hindutva and Hinduism were two quite 
different things. Ration.ii.sts Avould never say that Savarkar 
would stand for a State m which a Shankaracharya would 
be authorized to make laws and deal with justice. Is there 
such a degraded man as will say that Savarkar ever said that 
he wanted to deal with the so-called Depressed Classes and 
measure the ideals governing man and woman with Manu’s 
rod ? According to Savarkarism, the word Hindu connotes 
nationality. You may be a Buddhist, a Jain, a Sikh or an 
Arya Samajist by faith, but by nationality you are a Hindu. 
The term Hindu State corresponds to the terms the German 
State, Japanese State, Afghan State, Turkish State. You 
gladly repeat the words Mu.slim State, Mogul rule, Pakistan, 
Turkish State. Where is the harm if you call the Bharatiya 
State as the Hindu State ? Moreover, Savarkar meant by 
the word Hindu Rashtra, a State grown out of the historic 
cultural background. The national majority after whom the 
State is named must follow their bent, must grow according 
to their nature and blood by reconciling their past with the 
present, shaping their future in the light of science. But 
Savarkar always insisted that none should hustle or terrorize 
the national majority into shaping their present or future. 

Why should Pandit Nehru and his colleagues decry this kind 
of Hindu Ra.shtra in which every citizen will be equal in the 
eyes of law ? Pandit Nehru and Gandhiji especially who 
started their political careers with a Theocratic Movement, 
the Khilafat, and ended it in creating a Theocratic State, 
Pakistan, on the basis of religion should have any the least 
objection to it. And at last Pandit Nehru declared at 
Lucknow in October 1947 : “ Congress wanted to establish 

a secular democratic State in the country. Naturally in such 



a Slate the predominant culture and outlook vvoulrl b 
governed by the great majority of the Hindus in the popuC 
tion/^ But according to Savarkar the culture of the majority 
in India was the culture of Rama^ Krishna, Kalidas, Vikram, 
Bhavabhutu Pratap, Guru Govindsingh, Shivaji and 
Vivekananda, and not the culture of TaimurJang, Mohamad of 
Ghazni, Mohamad Ghori, Babar, Aurangzeb and Tipu ! 

While these controversies were going on, confusion, 
fanaticism and retaliation were reigning supreme. It is 
necessary to reveal here as briefly as possible the significance 
of this insurmountable crisis as this was indirectly responsible 
for Savarkar being involved in the most heinous trial. 
Gandliist leaders proved to be unequal to the occasion and 
historic necessities. People now realized that Gandhism was 
an illusion. Gandhiji himself realized too late that what the 
nation followed was not non-violence but passive resistance. 
He expressed this at a meeting in Delhi. Nehru said that the 
nation had to wade through ocean of blood and tears. Such 
was the crisis and such were the times that people showed a 
profound disbelief in and dislike of Gandhism which seemed till 
yesterday the ruling belief of the majority. The blood, tears, 
sighs and sorrow proved that Gandhism was a dreamland. The 
situation was utterly volcanic and it disclosed that the whole 
range of consequences was the outcome of those beliefs, 
opinions and actions. People seemed now unwilling to 
sacrifice their present ease or near convenience in the hope 
of securing higher advantages for others and honour of 
tomorrow. The magnitude of the issues and height of interests 
involved was such that there was a stirring shock in the realm 
of the national mind. Perturbed by the atrocities, imbecilities 
and the terrific holocaust that marked the course of the period, 
even the great Congress leaders were chilled in their political 
beliefs ! They now realized that mere height of aim and 
nobility of expression did not move the matter-of-fact world. 

K. M. Munshi, who claimed to have followed the Mahatma, 
while reviewing the situation in the Freedom Special of his 
Social Welfare, observed : “ Last thirty-five years, we have 

been brought up on a slogan : naturalness and inevitableness 
of Hindu-Muslim unity. That this was a wishful thinking has 


been prov<: d in Noakhali, Bihar, Rawalpindi — ^in a hundred 
villages, by tons of thousands of men, women and children 
fleeing for safety. The Muslim — a hard realist — ^knew and 
exploited the hollowness of the slogans ; the Hindu cherishes 
it still. Hindus love words and ideals.’' What a melancholy 
epitaph on Gandhism by a Gandhist ! How fitting yet flagrant, 
how frank yet ferocious, how realistic though belated ! The 
terrific shock also evoked a spontaneous remark from Babu 
Purushottamdas Tandon. Tandon declared while speaking at 
a meeting in Bareilly that » landhiji’s doctrine of absolute non- 
violence had proved to be useless and was greatly responsible 
for the partiiion of India. 

Even the Bharat Jyoii, a well-known English Weekly and a 
strong spokesman of the Congress in Bombay, bewailed in its 
editorial dated October 26, 1947, under the caption ‘ Barter 
not Truth ’ : “ Today, Gandhiji is a living witness to the 

failure of his political mission. His failure is the measure of 
his departure from truth, in his implementation of truth.” The 
editorial concludes : ‘‘ Gandhiji resisted partition of India, 

but like Yudhishthira, by a play of words, secured the nation s 
ratification of Partition ; he, like Yudhishthira, is witnessing 
hell’s torments. Power of truth is great ; lie’s punishment is 
greater. So, barter not, truth.” 

In the meanwhile people who were filled with a sense and 
anxiety for security spoke in terms of strife and survival. One 
furious and reckless mob stoned Gandhiji’s residence at 
Calcutta twenty-four hours before the dawn of freedom ! The 
furious mob even shouted “ Gandhi, Go Back.” In Delhi, 
Pandit Nehru and other Congress leaders were stunned to 
hear later on at the time of Gandhiji’s last fast the slogans of 
the angry crowds shouting ‘ Let Gandhi die The principle 
of absolute non-violence had gone with the wind. People were 
puzzled over the words and deeds of the Congress leaders. 
India was fighting Pakistan in Kashmir not with the spinning 
wheel or with cotton balls, but with deadly bullets and des- 
tructive bombs. Gandhiji’s prayer-meetings were now-a-days 
abandoned, disturbed, heckled and routed. Pickets had to be 
posted at Gandhi’s residence in Delhi to protect Gandhiji, the 
symbol of non-violence. C.I.D. in plain dress guarded 
Gandhiji’s post-prayer meetings. Savarkar had nothing to 


do with these violent mob demonstrations nor with the 
newspapers’ smashing criticism of Gandhism. That was the 
growing opinion in the minds of the people and the colurrtns 
of the Congress press. Not that the people were in a mood 
to listen to Savarkar. There was confusion, indecision and 
misjudgment of the issues in the minds of the people and their 
leaders and their press. 

And such a crisis was capped by Gandhiji’s famous fast 
which he started on January 13, 1948, for the reinstatement of 
the Muslims in their houses at Delhi, for the restoration of dese- 
crated mosques to their former use and for other five reasons, 
and as a sequel the Government of India led by Congressmen 
was forced to pay Pakistan rupees fifty-five crores which had 
been loudly decried and refused. The Modern Reinew a 
Calcutta monthly, famous for its balanced views all over the 
world, began its editorial notes in its issue of January 1948 
with a pertinent question : “ The time has come when our 
trusted leaders, including the Father of the Nation, have to be 
asked for a clear reply to a plain question. Where does the 
Hindu of the Indian Union stand today and what does freedom 
mean for him ? Does he possess along with others the 
democratic birth-rights by which a State has to be ruled and 
administered for the greatest good for the majority, or is he 
there merely to serve as so much fuel for a burnt sacrifice — 
to be used for “ conscience-fodder,” so to say, by his leaders, 
just as the totalitarian Fuehrer used his people as cannon- 
fodder ? ” The Review proceeds : “ It is the Hindu who did 

by far most of the fighting for liberty and offered by far the 
vastly greater part of the sacrifices. Then why should his 
interests be sacrificed at every emotional impulse of his elders 
and leaders ? ” The note puts a query : “ A state cannot be 

run on the lines of a Passion-play, and what would avail the 
working of a miracle in the minds of the recalcitrant infinitesi- 
mal minority, if thereby the trust of the hundreds of millions 
of the majority be betrayed ? ” Referring to the fast of 
Gandhiji, the Modem Review concluded its note in a grave 
judgment : “ Mahatmaji’s fast will, we are sure, attain its 

object for the time being but the results would be futile and 
disastrous in the long run, unless Pakistanis mend their ways. 
Indeed, this fast will enhance communal bitterness a 


thousandfold on this side when the people realize the futility 
of their sacrifices, and would make the ultimate and inevitable 
clash horrible and catastrophic beyond all measure, unless 
Mahatmaji can work his miracle in Pakistan as well.” 

And in the midst of such an atmosphere of extreme gloom, 
confusion and disaster, Nathuram Vinayak Godse shot 
Gandhiji with a revolver while Gandhiji was going to the 
prayer ground in the compound of Birla House at Delhi in 
the evening at 5-30 on Friday, January 30, 1948. 


The Red Fort Ordeal and After 

With the shots fired by Nathuram Vinayak Godse 
disappeared one of the greatest political figures from the stage 
of world politics. The act was committed in broad daylight, 
in a public place, in the sight of a multitude by a man dressed 
in khaki bush jacket and blue trousers. The newspapers 
described him as a batchelor of thirty-seven with medium 
height, fair skin, square jaws, a resolute and sober face, serious 
flickering eyes, a high forehead, close-cropped hair, all giving 
the appearance of a man of serious purpose. 

The news of the assassination of Gandhi ji spread like wild 
fire. It was indeed tragic, tearing and terrific. A wave of 
shock and grief passed over the whole country like an earth- 
quake. Shops were slammed in, flags lowered, cinema shows 
cancelled. Vivisected and broken-hearted Mother India shed 
piteous tears for her great son, as does a mother for her son 
despite her own malady. 

Depressed looked the vrhole world for a while. With wide 
mouth it paid its fitting tributes to the memory of the great 
man. The Indian minorities were distressed. The Muslims 
said they were orphaned. The Anglo-Indians bemoaned the 
loss as never before. The Bohra head priest grieved, and the 
Afghan Sai'dars were moved. 

The reaction of this terrific act on the Hindu Mahasabha 
and the R.S.S. was too severe and drastic. In his early youth 
Godse was a worker of the R.S.S. and later, he was a 
prominent member of the All-India Committee of the Hindu 
Mahasabha. He was a well-known journalist in Maharashtra 
and the editor of a Marathi Daily, the Agrani , — the Leader — 
changed to a new name, the Hindu Rashtra at a later stage. 
Better known as Pandit Nathuram Godse, this editor was a 
staunch Savarkarite, and was fairly known as the vanguard 
and lieutenant of Savarkar. But when the vivisection of 
Mother India was declared as a settled fact, in his 
extreme love for the Hindu Nation, Nathuram Godse 


repudiated even the saner leadership of Savarkar. Naturally, 
the attention of the hooligans was riveted upon men and institu- 
tions of his erstwhile association in Maharashtra. Furious 
crowds pulled down and burnt Hindu Sabha flags, destroyed 
Local and District Hindu Sabha offices, burnt printing houses 
and studios belonging to the Hindu Sabha leaders, attacked 
persons of Hindu Sabha persuasion and particularly persons 
from the clan of Godse ; shops and houses of the Hindu 
Sanghatanists were in flames and at some places even personal 
and party enmity under ihis plea or that pretext Was vented 
on men, women and chiidren. And all this in the name of 
Gandhiji whom they worshipped as the embodiment of peace, 
mercy, truth and non-violence ! 

Men of lesser mettle promptly declared their disassociation 
from the Hindu Mahasabha. Some office-bearers of Local or 
District Hindu Sabhas resigned and severed their connections 
with the Hindu Mahasabha. A dusk to dawn curfew was 
enforced in Poona, the city from which Nathuram Godse 
hailed. Wrath was on its round, malice on its wings, and 
political revenge on its prowl. In the Deccan States the long- 
awaiting disgruntled souls of some non-Brahmins saw their 
opportunity, and they poured out the vials of their vengeance 
in the name of Gandhiji on Brahmins in particular and the 
Hindu Sanghatanists in general, who happened to be 
sympathizers, workers or leaders of the Hindu Mahasabha. 
There was trouble and tension in a few cities between the Hindu 
Sabhaites and the R.S.S. on one side and the violent crowds 
of Gandhian persuasion on the other ; but the havoc wrought 
by the assaults committed by interested or incited gangs 
especially in the States of Kolhapur, Sangli and Miraj was 
terrific, unprecedented and unparalleled. There was hardly 
any bloodshed or burning incident in other Provinces, but 
the massacre of a whole family consisting of an old man, his 
son and his grandson for the fault of bearing the same 
surname as Godse and the atrocities, arson and looting 
committed in the name of Gandhiji in Maharashtra were so 
dastardly and ghastly that these dark deeds of the so-called 
followers of Gandhiji would put the inhuman crimes 
committed by the furious followers of Robespierre into the 
shade. Had it not been for the stern and efficient handling of 


the situation by Sri Morarji Desai, the Home Minister, 
Government of Bombay, the rioters and looters would have 
turned Maharashtra into a veritable graveyard. 

And what about the first and foremost Hindu Sabhaite, 
Savarkar ? On the morning of Saturday, January 31, 1948, 
at about 10, fury was let loose in many parts of the city of 
Bombay, which destroyed Hindu Sabha offices, burnt their 
property, attacked the residences of the Hindu Sabha leaders 
and workers, and stormed and attacked the house of Savarkar 
known as Savarkar Sadan. The ringleaders of this furious 
mob of about 500 strong broke into Savarkar’s house through 
a door on the rear side. They swept down into the compart- 
ments on the ground floor occupied by Bhide Guruji, a former 
Secretary to Savarkar, a Hindu Sabha leader of note, and 
editor of an English Weekly, the Free Hindusthan. This was 
the left-hand side block on the ground floor of the one-storeyed 
house of Savarkar. Savarkar was in his bedroom on the first 
floor. He knew what the mob meant towards him. In his 
youth, he had faced such wild drunken mobs in London streets 
when he was agitating for Indian Independence. The ring- 
leaders of the mob were running amuck on the ground floor. 
But the presence of mind of a Savarkarite, who was present 
at the moment, hoodwinked them and in the meantime the 
police arrived on the scene and a bloody scene was averted. 

But what was the state on the first floor during this hour of 
attack ? It is characteristic of Savarkar that he keeps quiet, 
cool and collected in times of grave dangers. His courage 
rises with difficulties. Armed with courage and available 
legitimate weapons in his hands, Savarkar stood in his bed- 
room, his wife standing by his side. He asked his son Vishwas 
to seek safety somewhere while he defended the house. But 
true to his blood the young boy refused to run away from the 
scene and save his life. This was the time for Vishwas to 
show his mettle. In front of his father, on the threshold of 
the bedroom stood the young boy prepared to face the mob, 
determined to protect his father and to die in the action if 
necessary. Had Savarkar’s bodyguard Appa Kassar been 
present on the scene, crimson would have been the compound 
of Savarkar’s house. But he was already arrested along with 
Gajananrao Damle, personal secretary to Savarkar, in the 


early hours of Saturday, eight hours after the assassination of 

Defeated in its bloodthirsty designs, the mob set upon the 
residence of Dr. Narayanrao Savarkar in the same locality. 
Dr. Savarkar was stoned till he fell down in a pool of blood. 
He suffered severe head injuries and was admitted to hospital, 
and his family was removed to a distant place. 

Nathuram Godse’s lieutenantship was bound to recoil upon 
Savarkar. A thorough search was made of Savarkar’s house 
on January 31. Savarkai kept himself in his bedroom and 
the police minutely seari he<{ his residence. A police officer 
asked Savarkar to accompany him to a place of safety. 
Savarkar flatly refused to do so and told the officer that his 
person would carry unrest and agitation wherever he went. 
He told the police officer that he would not move an inch, and 
added that two armed guards were enough to scare away the 
mob ; but if the pohce did not want to do so, then, said he, he 
was ready to lay down his life for his principles. Savarkar 
also issued a statement on January 31, in which he said that 
the news of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi was too 
shocking and sudden and he appealed to the people to stand 
by the Central Government of Free India and maintain order 
in the country. 

From February 1 to February 5 throughout the country 
there was a general round-up of the Hindu Sabha leaders and 
workers. The R.S.S. was outlawed and its leaders and workers 
were also arrested. Even Sri R. K. Tatnis, the famous editor 
of the well-known Marathi Weekly, the Vividhavritta, 
Sri Jamnadas Mehta and Sri K. N. Dharap were put behind 
the bars though they had no active connection with the Hindu 
Mahasabha or the R.S.S. But Tatnis and Mehta had fearlessly 
opposed Gandhiji and the Congress on the question of 
Pakistan, and Dharap was a legal celebrity of Mahasabha 
persuasion. All the three were, however, set at liberty by the 
High Court of Bombay on Habeas Corpus apphcations on 
their behalf. Excepting L. B. Bhopatkar, President of the All- 
India Hindu Mahasabha, Sri G. V. Ketkar, Editor Kesari and 
Mahratta, Poona, and Sri R. N. Mandlik, President of the 
Maharashtra Provincial Hindu Sabha and Member of the 
Bombay Legislative Council, all prominent Maiharashtrian 



Badu SsJoSaa kadeis were put in jail. The total number of 
pwsons attested in this general round-up in aU the Provinces 
and the States was said to have exceeded 25 , 000 . Such a 
huge round-up for a single act was never witnessed in India 
at any other time in her history ! 

On the night of February 4, the police officers got Savarkar 
medically examined. The doctor declared that Savarkar was 
keeping dt, though Savarkar had been suffering throughout 
the previous year from low fever and heart-ailment, and was 
even at that time running temperature. A few hours after 
this, in the early hours of February 5, came a police van to 
Savarkar Sadan. Savarkar was told that he was placed under 
arrest under the Bombay Public Security Measures Act. He 
nodded assent and said that before entering the van he desired 
to go to the lavatory. The officers hesitated. Savarkar smiled 
and said ; “ Do not be afraid. I am now an old man and 

you should not fear a repetition of Marseilles, nor is there any 
occasion for it.” The officer inspected the W.C. after Savarkar 
came out of it, but could find nothing. 

All sensible persons condemned the act of assassination. And 
a few hours before his arrest, Savarkar too had issued another 
statement endorsing the joint statement of Bhopatkar and 
some other Members of the Working Committee of the Hindu 
Mahasabha regarding ‘ the gruesome assassination of Mahatma 
Gandhi ’ and said, “ I, too, as one of the Vice-Presidents of the 
Hindu Mahasabha subscribe to their feeling and condemn 
unequivocally such fatricidal crimes whether they are 
perpetrated by the individual frenzy or mob fury.” Savarkar 
concluded his statement with a warning : “ Let every 

patriotic citizen set to his heart the stem warning which 
History utters that a successful national revolution and a 
newly-bom national State can have no worse enemy than a 
fatricidal civil war, especially so when it is encompassed from 
outside by alien hostility.” 

Savarkar was lodged in the Arthur Road Jail, Bombay. 
Now some of the local Congress-minded papers assumed the 
role of justice, usurped the rights of the Court and wickedly 
enough described Savarkar as the brain behind the murder of 
Gandhiji. Some openly flashed the news that Damle and 
Kasar had a hand in the plot. And all this when the whole 



affair as to how far Savarkar was the brain, Apie the brawn, 

and Godse the heart and hand was being investigated by the 


Tlie police officers led a blitz in a group on Savarkar, their 
combined wily and wild genius being at grips with the genius 
of Savarkar. Savarkar was calm and collected. XAke IDe V aVera, 
the country for the independence of which, he had striven and 
sacrificed his life for fifty long years, threw ham into \aiV 
after the birth of a Free State. Savarkar was naturally over- 
whelmed with these feelings He declined to avail himself of 
the facility of home food. No interview with him was allowed 
to his wife or his only son till March 23, and nothing was 
heard or known about him by the public except the volcano 
of obloquy let loose by hostile journals of Congress persuasion. 

One man with intrepid courage and devotional vigilance 
devoted himself to the defence of Savarkar amidst the all- 
round erupting volcano. That man was Sri S. V. Deodhar, 
a local advocate of Bombay. He interviewed Savarkar on 
February 6 and took his instructions. For a long time 
Savarkar was not charged with any speciftc offence. But on 
March 11, 1948, Savarkar was again placed under arrest in 
the Arthur Road Jail by the Delhi Police under a warrant 
from the Delhi Presidency Magistrate on a charge of being 
one of the conspirators in the a.ssassination of Gandhiji. When 
Savarkar was produced before the Chief Presidency 
Magistrate, Bombay, for a further remand, the daring advocate 
moved an application for bail, but it was refused. Deodhar, 
however, secured permission for Savarkar’s wife and son to 
interview him, and accordingly they saw him in jail for the 
first time on March 24. It was through the efforts of Deodhar 
that Savarkar could execute a general power of attorney in 
favour of his son, thus facilitating the arrangement of funds 
for his household affairs and for his defence. Savarkar was 
now in full control of every nerve. On May 18 he made an 
important affidavit before the Chief Presidency Magistrate, 
Bombay, regarding a group photograph that was taken by the 
police with Savarkar in the centre and Godse and Apte on 
either side together with the other alleged conspirators who 
had been arrested on different dates in the first half of 
February and brought to Bombay for investigation purposes. 


By now tho Icsdcr and famous advocate in Bhopatkar was 
on the move with all his legal acumen and with all his moral 
courage. Sri Mandlik also was bringing the issue of Savarkar^s 
arrest to the forefront. At the time of the passing of the Budget, 
Mandlik severely criticized the Bombay Government in the 
Bombay Legislative Council for denying Savarkar even the 
freedom of interview with his family and legal counsels. On 
April 3 Mandlik asked the Home Minister, Sri Morarji Desai, 
as to why the confiscated property of the Savarkars was not 
returned to Savarkar in appreciation of his past services in 
the cause of Indian Independence, as was done in the case of 
other patriotic sufferers of Congress persuasion of even 
recent period. The Home Minister replied that the Govern- 
ment did not propose to return the property to Savarkar and 
on a supplementary question, he added sarcastically, though 
Savarkar’s case was now sub jiidice, that Savarkar’s present 
disservice was more than his past service. Upon this Mandlik 
sprang up and asked the Home Minister to define Savarkar’s 
‘ present ’ disservice to which the Home Minister had referred ; 
but there was no reply. Savarkar’s must be a rare case, a 
case of one of the greatest patriots under the sun wherein the 
property confiscated for his struggle for national freedom was 
not returned to the patriot even after the nation had become 
free. Men of lesser patriotism and later-day struggle were 
given back their confiscated properties by the Congress 
Ministries ; but it seemed as if the Congressmen in the 
Ministry, who were themselves not politically born nor were 
the makers of their Ministries out of their swaddling clothes 
when Savarkar stamped the pages of world history with the 
cry of Indian Independence, were not even desirous of doing 
Savarkar bare justice, let alone honouring the greatest patriot 
of our day. 


In the meantime, news appeared in the Times of India, 
Bombay, that Government were weighing the evidence 
regarding Savarkar’s complicity in the plot. After three 
months and a half, the preliminaries were completed. And 
at last, for want of proper legal opinion, the Government of 


India were led to rope in Savarkar, one of the greatest political 
figures for all times, with the other alleged conspirators. A 
notification in the Gazette of India Extraordinary dated May 
15, 1948, declared the names of the nine accused among whom 
flashed the name of Savarkar as the eighth accused. The 
notification also announced that Sri Atma Charan, I.C.S. was 
appointed a Special Judge to try the case in the historic Red 
Fort at Delhi. The trial was expected to begin towards the 
end of May 1948. 

The tide of mob violence almost ebbed in April 1948. But 
the atmosphere was still full of dread. The Public Security 
Measures Act held its sway all over the Province. The defence 
of Savarkar was the uppermost thought for his family and 
the Mahasabha leaders of Maharashtra. The nerve of the Hindu 
Mahasabha leaders in Maharashtra did not give way. History 
has witnessed that in a great crisis, Maharashtrian leadership 
keeps its nerve and mind. So was it proved during the historic 
days of Rajarara and post-Panipat period. Bhopatkar, 
Ketkar and Mandlik rose to keep up the traditional spirit. 
Sri Jamnadas Mehta, who had played an important role in 
effecting Savarkar ’s release in 1937, rose to the occasion and 
played a very effective role in this trial also ! The part 
Sri Gajananrao Ketkar played with his colleagues in .solving 
the deadlock regarding Savarkar’s defence was as skilful and 
courageous as it was spirited and masterly. It was through 
his qualities of head and heart that the issue of the Defence 
Fund was brought to the forefront so that the Defence 
Fund was volunteered even by farmers, villagers and students 
in instalments of rupee one or two amounting to a lakh in 
the end. Hindu Sanghatanists in Bengal, Punjab, Madras and 
other Provinces, too, at a later stage joined the Defence Com- 
mittee in collecting the Defence Fund as a token of moral 

Just before the commencement of the trial, all the accused, 
who were then in Bombay, were taken to Delhi on May 24. 
Savarkar was alone taken to Delhi the next day by air, 
accompanied by two medical experts and oxygen tubes. All 
the accused were lodged in a specially selected part of the 
Red Fort and it was declared to be a prison. It was also 
declared that the Court would hold its sittings in a hall in the 


upper storey of a building in the Red Fort, the famous Fort 
where the Moguls held trials and where recently the I.N.A. 
leaders were tried. The Court was well furnished and 
arrangements for accommodation of the Court visitors and for 
the accused were .specially made. The Court room was fitted 
with microphones for making the proceedings audible. 
Admission to the court was regulated by available on 
production of a certificate of fitness from a Magistrate or a 
Gazetted Officer. Passes were valid for one daj' only and 
visitors and even counsels were liable to be searched at the 
gate. The Court and its surroundings wei'e guarded by police 
and military force. 

The trial opened at 10 a.m. on May 27, 1948, the day on 
which Savarkar completed his fateful sixty-fifth year ! Sri C. 
K. Daphtary, Advocate-General, Bombay, led the prosecution 
and was assisted by four other counsels. Sri L. B. Bhopatkar, 
President of the All-India Hindu Mahasabha, an eminent 
author of many Law Books and a legal celebrity, led the 
Defence and represented Savarkar, accused No. 8. The 
principal accused, Nathuram Vinayak Godse, was represented 
by Sri V. V. Oak, Bar-at-law, Bombay ; Narayan D. Apte 
was represented by K. H. Mengle ; Vishnu R. Karkare by N. 
D. Dange, Bombay ; Madanlal K. Pahwa by B. B. Banerji, 
Delhi, Shankar Kistaya by H. R. Metha (Government) ; Gopal 
Godse by M. B. Maniar and Dr. Parchiure by P. L. Inamdar, 
Gwalior. Sri G. K. Dua and Sri M. B. Maniar helped Dange 
and Inamdar and Sri Jamnadas Mehta, Lala Ganpat Rai, 
Delhi, Sri K. L. Bhopatkar, Poona, Sri J. P. Mitter, Calcutta, 
and Sri N. P. Aiyar, Madras, assisted Bhopatkar during the 
trial in the defence of Savarkar, and at the time of arguments 
Sri P. R. Das, brother of Deshbandhu Das, and a retired 
High Court Judge, Patna, argued the case for Savarkar. The 
President of the Hindu Mahasabha was defending its former 
President Savarkar. Bhopatkar was then seventy and had 
to forego a lucrative practice at the Poona Bar for months. 
Political reactions to his brave defence of Savarkar were not 
without strain. A lesser man would have gone down in 
standing for such a daring defence which was nothing less 
than an opposition and resistance to a powerful unfavourable 
current then in its meridian in the country. 


Out of the twelve persons cited in the charge sheet, the first 
nine were produced on the first day, the remaining three, 
Gangadhar Dandvate, Gangadhar Jadhav and Suryadeo 
Sharnia were stated to have absconded. When the trial 
opened, Savarkar looked sober, self-collected, but pale and 
physically pulled down ; Godse, the central figure, wore a 
scowl ; Apte, Karkare, Mandanlal, Badge, Gopal Godse, 
Kistaya and Dr. Parchure were in good spirits and freely 
talked with each other in il •, dock. On the first day the Court 
acceded to the Chief Defer;',e Counsel's request for a chair to 
be provided for Savarkar in the dock. Then deciding a legal 
point raised by Bhopatkar, the judge said that the trial would 
be treated as if the accused had already been committed to 
Sessions. The Court met again on June 3 to consider the 
timings of the sittings, the language of the proceedings, etc., 
and adjourned to June 22, 1948. 

In the meanwhile, the Bombay Public Security Measures 
Act was made applicable by the Central Government to the 
Province of Delhi on June 2, 1948, under the provisions of the 
Delhi Laws Act of 1912 and came into force with effect from 
June 13, 1947. It was declared on June 14, 1948, that the 
Special Court at Delhi constituted under sections 10 and 11 of 
the Bombay Public Security Measures Act as extended to the 
Province of Delhi was empowered to tender pardon to an 
accused under a special ordinance XIV of 1948. Accordingly 
Digambar Badge was tendered the King’s pardon on June 21, 
and Badge turned approver in the case. 

On June 22 the trial resumed hearing in the Red Fort. The 
Chief Prosecution Counsel, Sri Daphtary, in his opening 
speech charged all the eight accused in the dock with 
conspiracy, murder and offences under the Arms Act and 
Explosive Substances Act. The story of the prosecution was 
that Nathuram Godse was the tool, Apte the brain and 
Savarkar was the Guru and guide behind the murder of 
Gandhiji. The prosecution stated that Savarkar was a very 
well-known name, a leader of a particular line of thought and 
President for a considerable period of the Hindu Mahasabha. 
The prosecution further said that his books were numerous 
and vigorous and were the text books for persons of certain 
views and thought and some of those books were published 


by Nathuram Godse and Apte. The Prosecution Chief added : 
“ It has been well known that he has been no lover, to put it 
mildly, of either non-violence or of any policy of favouring 
the Muslim Party.” The Chief of the Prosecution concluded : 
“ Evidence is sufficient to prove not only that he had 
knowledge of what was going to be done, but that it could not 
have been done except with his complicity.” 

After the charges were read out and explained to the 
accused, all the accused pleaded ‘ not guilty ’ and claimed to 
be tried. 

The recording of the prosecution evidence began on June 
24, and continued till November 6. During the course of his 
deposition the approver Badge told the court that he had 
accompanied Apte and Godse to Savarkar Sadan, Bombay, 
on 14 January 1948, that Godse and Apte went inside with a 
bag containing the stuff leaving him outside the compound, 
and returned 5-10 minutes later with the bag containing the 
stuff. The approver further said in his evidence that on 
January 15, 1948, Apte asked him in the compound of Dixitji 
Maharaj, Bombay, whether he was prepared to accompany 
him (Apte) to Delhi and told the approver that Tatyarao 
(Savarkar) had decided that Gandhiji, Nehru and Suhrawardy 
should be finished and had entrusted that work to them. The 
approver also told the Court that on a suggestion from 
Nathuram Godse, Godse, Apte and Badge had been to 
Savarkar Sadan on January 17, 1948, to take the last Darshun 
of Savarkar and while be was sitting in the room on the 
ground floor of the house, he heard Savarkar saying to Godse 
and Apte who were coming downstairs, “ Be successful and 
come.” On their way back, Apte told the approver, so 
went the story of the approver, that (Tatyarao) Savarkar had 
predicted that Gandhiji’s hundred years were over and that 
there was no doubt that their work would be successfully 
finished. The approver said that he accompanied Apte and 
Godse to Delhi because Apte told him that it was Savarkar’s 
command. It seemed this was all the prosecution evidence 
against Savarkar. Badge was subjected to a gruelling cross- 
examination by Sri L. B. Bhopatkar when the approver said 
that he regarded Savarkar not only as the leader of the 
Hindus, but also God incarnate (Devata). He also said that 


Savarkar’s birthday was celebrated every year as Jayanti Day 
like Shiva Jayanti and Krishna Jayanti and that he had seen 
Savarkar only once in 1943. Badge admitted that Bhide 
Guruji and Gajananrao Damle also resided on the ground 
floor of Savarkar Sadan. 

Out of the few other prosecution witnesses produced to 
prove Savarkar’s complicity m the plot, Miss Shantabai B. 
Modak, Maharashtrian, who had given a lift to 
Nathuram Godse and Nara n Apte and dropped them near 
by Savarkar Sadan, on January 14, admitted when cross- 
examined by Sri Oak that she did not see Apte and Godse 
entering the compound of Savarkar Sadan. The story of 
another prosecution witness. Prof. J. C. Jain, Bombay, was 
that Madanlal Pahwa, who met the professor before the 
assassination of Gandhiji, had told the Professor that Savarkar 
had patted him on the back for his work in the Refugee Camp 
and said ‘ carry on ’. The Home Minister of Bombay, 
Sri Morarji Desai, and one Angad Singh told the story as 
related to them by Prof. Jain. As far as Savarkar was 
concerned, there was no evidence against him except the 
alleged uncorroborated talk of this Madanlal with Savarkar 
in all these three depositions. The taxi-driver said in his 
evidence that he had taken Godse, Apte, Badge and Kistaya 
to Shivaji Park, Dadar, but he did not know the name of the 
owner of the house into which Godse, Apte and Badge went. 
The story of the trunk-phone call from the Hindu Mahasabha 
Bhavan, New Delhi, to Savarkar Sadan, Bombay, was also 
narrated by prosecution witnesses. But the call was not 
meant for the inmates of Savarkar Sadan and so that point 
was also a failure. 


After the examination and cross-examination of 149 prosecu- 
tion witnesses in all, the statements of the accused were heard. 
On November 8 Nathuram Godse submitted his state- 
ment in which he frankly admitted that he fired three shots 
at Gandhiji whom he considered to be the father of Pakistan. 
Godse and Apte both denied that they had either seen 
Savarkar or entered the compound of his house as alleged by 


the prosecution. Immediately, on the next day, Godse’s 
92-page statement was banned by the Central Government. 
Madanlal denied having seen Savarkar at all as alleged by the 
prosecution. Kistaya also stated that it was true that 
Nathuram Godse, Apte and Badge had been to a certain 
house in Shivaji Park locality, but he added that he did not 
know to whom the house belonged, nor was it true what the 
approver told that he (Kistaya) accompanied them to that 
house ; as in fact he did not alight from the car when Badge 
and others got down and went somewhere in the locality. 

On November 20 Savarkar read his 52-page statement in 
which he said he did not commit any of the offences with 
which he was charged, nor had he any reason to do so. He 
solemnly asserted that he was never a party to any agreement 
or conspiracy as alleged by the prosecution, nor had he any 
knowledge of any such criminal design. 

Savarkar proceeded : “ Badge, the approver, alleges that 

I (Savarkar) had decided that Gandhiji, Nehru and 
Suhrawardy .should be finished. Apte and Godse both deny 
that they ever told it to Badge and they were never told by 
me any such things as alleged. There is absolutely no 
evidence to corroborate Badge’s allegation. The first allega- 
tion of Badge is thus not only a hearsay, but an uncorrobo- 
rated hearsay.” 

Savarkar added that as regards the second sentence which 
Badge said he had personally heard him (Savarkar) saying 
to Apte and Godse, “ be successful and come back,” it was 
only an inference that it might have been in connection with 
the conspiracy. Moreover, Apte and Godse, continued 
Savarkar, both asserted that the story of the visit of the three 
to his house and the allegation of his having uttered that 
sentence was but a fabrication and totally false. “ Taking for 
granted,” stated Savarkar, “ that Badge himself is telling the 
truth when he says Apte told him that sentence, the question 
still remains whether what Apte told Badge was true or false. 
There was no evidence to show that I had ever told Apte to 
finish Gandhiji, Nehru and Suhrawardy. Apte might have 
invented this wicked lie to exploit my moral influence on 
Hindu Sanghatanists for his own purpose.” Savarkar further 


said that he had never predicted that Gandhiji's hundred years 
were over, to Apte or to anyone else. 

Detailing his personal life and political line of thought 
since 1908, he narrated his association with Gandhiji since 
1908 and he read pertinent extracts from his public statements 
issued from time to time on the arrest of Gandliiji and Nehru, 
regarding the murderous attack on Jinnah and pertaining to 
the sad death of Mrs. Kasturba Gandhi. He also briefly 
outlined the object of the Hindu Mahasabha of which he was 
President successively for seven years. 

He then referred to the fateful events in 1947 and said : “ I 

had been foremost in leading the movement against the vivi*- 
section of India. But in the year 1947 our Motherland was 
at last divided. However, although Pakistan came into 
existence yet to counterbalance that loss, by far the larger 
part of Hindusthan succeeded in achieving its freedom from 
foreign domination.” And when Savarkar came to the point 
of the vivisection of his Motherland, tears rolled down his 
cheeks and his voice was choked as he finished the sentence : 
“The fight for political independence in which as a soldier I 
too had fought, suffered and sacrificed for the last fifty years 
in no measure less than any other patriotic leader in my 
generation, was at last won and a free and independent State 
was born. I felt myself blessed to have survived to see my 
country free.” He wiped his tears with his handkerchief and 
continued to read his statement in a low voice. The news- 
papers flashed the moving atmosphere of the court in these 
words : “ Every one in the court seemed to share the emotions 
that overwhelmed the Hindu Sabha leader. The whole court 
was in pin-drop silence.” 

Savarkar then defined his attitude towards the Central 
Government. He observed : “ No doubt a part of the Mission 
remained unaccomplished, but we had not renounced our 
ambition to restore once more the integrity of our Motherland 
from the Indus to the Seas. For the realization of this 
ambition too it was imperative to consolidate that which we 
had already won. With this end in view I tried to impress 
on the public mind that first of all the Central Government 
must be rendered strong whatever party may happen to lead 
it. Any change in that lead however desirahle^ should be 


effected by constitutional means alone, for any act of violence 
or civil strife inside our camp was bound to endanger the 
state. Revolutionary mentality, which was inevitable and 
justifiable while we were struggling against an alien and 
armed oppression, must be instantly changed into a constitu- 
tional one if we wanted to save our State from dangerous 
party-strifes and civil wars. With this motto I wished that 
the two leading organizations, the Congress and the Maha- 
sabha, which were in fact coming very close to each other, 
should form a common front and strengthen the hands of the 
Central Government of our State. To that end I accepted the 
new National Flag. Though ill, I went to preside over the 
All-Party Hindu Conference at Delhi and attended the 
Mahasabha Working Committee. The majority of the veteran 
leaders of the Mahasabha as well as some foremost Congressite 
leaders had also been striving to form such a common front 
in co-operation with me. The Mahasabha Working Committee 
passed a resolution to back up the Central Government. 
Dr, S. P. Mookerji, the Mahasabha leader, was already 
included in the Central Ministry and the step was appreciated 
by all of us.” 

As regcirds the deposition of other witnesses in reference 
to him, Savarkar said that he did not know Madanlal, neither 
had he met him, nor had he any conversation with him at any 
time whatsoever, and since the evidence of Professor Jain, 
Angad Singh and Sri Morarji Desai was hearsay testimony, 
he pleaded that it should be excluded entirely from considera- 
tion. He pointed out that Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte 
were men of independent nature as was revealed by the 
approver and they were not to be led by the nose. He also 
respectfully stated before the court : “ Does it not often 

happen that some of the followers who actually try to exploit 
the moral influence of the leaders to further their activities 
which the leader had never sanctioned ? In 1942, in the 
‘ Quit India Movement ’ some leading workers, who had been 
close associates of Gandhiji as Congressmen and respected 
him, resorted to underground violence. I am not concerned 
here with the question whether such an underground move- 
ment against a foreign domination was or was not justifled. 
It is enough to say that Mahatma Gandhi condemned all 


red fort ordeal and after 

underground violence. But masses resorted under the lead of 
those workers to arson, sabotage and bloodshed, shouting all 
the while ‘ Mahatma Gandhi ki Jai ^ But even the British 
Government did not put Gandhiji in the dock for their crime 
simply because the masses respected him and were doing those 
very criminal acts and shouting ‘ Gandhiji ki Jai ’ and there- 
fore they must have had consulted him/’ 

In the end, Savarkar pleaded that since not a word had been 
found to incriminate him in the 10,000 letters which the prose- 
cution had seized from his liouse and since Badge’s allegations 
were uncorroborated hearsay and uncorroborated inference, 
he prayed the judge to acquit him without the least blemish 
on his character and order him to be released forthwith. 

The accused were then asked whether they meant to adduce 
evidence in defence. All of them declined to adduce evidence 
in rebuttal of the prosecution evidence or in support of the 
statements made by them. 

After the statements of the eight accused were recorded, the 
counsels’ arguments were heard from December 1 to Decem- 
ber 30, 1948. Nathuram Godse argued his case himself for 
about three days and laid stress on the point that it was a 
cold-blooded act of his own and was committed not in con- 
sultation or in conspiracy with anybody else and as he had 
shown no mercy to the man whom he had killed, he concluded, 
he did not want the court to show any mercy to himself. 
Sri Mengle argued the case on behalf of Apte, Dange for 
Karkare, B. Banerji for Madanlal, Mehta for Kistaya and 
Inamdar for Gopal Godse and Dr. Parchure. Sri P. R. Das, 
a retired High Court Judge from Patna and brother of 
Deshbandhu C. R. Das, volunteered his services for the defence 
of Savarkar and argued the case in a powerful and masterful 
manner for Savarkar in particular and as regards the point 
of conspiracy in general. Sure of ultimate success. Das con- 
cluded that he did not doubt as to what would be the decision 
of the court regarding his client. He emphasized that he ex- 
pected a clean acquittal for Savarkar without blemish on his 
character. It was a tribute to the broad-mindedness of Sri 
L. B. Bhopatkar, the Chief Defence Counsel, that although 
in no way unequal to the occasion in his legal acumen, he 
made sure of the acquittal of Savarkar, the only object of his 


heart and pride by adding strength and influence to the 
defence of Savarkar through his masterly and thorough cross- 
examination of the prosecution witnesses and then by putting 
forth the arguments through the legal genius of Sri P. R. Das. 

At last after eighty-four sittings spread over seven long 
months, the day of judgment dawned on February 10, 1949. 
Exactly at 11 a.m. the Special Judge, Sri Atma Charan, com- 
menced to deliver his judgment. . In the course of the judg- 
ment, Sri Atma Charan said : “ Vinayak Damodar Savarkar 

in his statement says that he had no hand in the conspiracy, 
if any, and had no control whatsoever over Nathuram Godse 
and Narayan D. Apte. It has been mentioned above that the 
prosecution case against Vinayak D. Savarkar rests on the 
evidence of the approver and approver alone. It has further 
been mentioned earlier that it would be unsafe to base any 
conclusion on the evidence of the approver as against Vinayak 
D. Savarkar. There is thus no reason to suppose that 
Vinayak Damodar had any hand in what took place at Delhi 
on 20-1-1948 and 30-1-1948.” 

The learned judge concluded : “ Vinayak D. Savarkar : He 
is found not guilty of the offences as specified in the charge, 
and is acquitted thereunder. He is in custody and be released 
forthwith unless required otherwise.” 

Nathuram Godse was sentenced to death for his deliberate 
and calculated act. Narayan D. Apte was also sentenced to 
death as the real brain behind the murder, and the other 
five accused, Vishnu Karkare, Madanlal Pahwa, Gopal V. 
Godse, Shankar Kistaya and Dr. Dattatraya Parchure, who 
were found guilty of conspiracy and abetment, were sen- 
tenced each to transportation for life. As soon as the judge 
rose to depart, all the prisoners fell at the feet of Savarkar 
in the dock and raised shouts of ‘ Akhand Hindusthan Amar 
Rahe ; Hindu-Hindi Hindusthan, Kabi Na Honga Pakistan 
It may be mentioned here that later, on June 21, 1949, Shankar 
Kistaya and Dr. Parchure were both acquitted by the Pun- 
jab High Coxart in an appeal as it was believed that Kistaya 
did no more than carry out his master’s orders and the con- 
fession of Dr. Parchure on which his conviction was based, 
was found to be unreliable and vmsatisfactory by the Appeal 
Court. The appeal of Godse, who again argued his own case 

red fort ordeal and after 385 

on the point of conspiracy and the appeals of Apte, Madanlal 
and Gopal Godse, were not granted and eventually Nathuram 
Godse and Narayan Apte died unrepentantly on the gallows 
on the morning of November 15, 1949, in the Ambala Prison 
vivtb the BKogauat Gita in their hands. 

Savarkar did not enjoy the trial as he had enjoyed the 
Nasik Trial thirty years ago. At the fag end of his life he 
was put into a fiery ordeal. So he had to control every nerve, 
every muscle and every drop of his blood with his uncommon 
will power to outlive the obloquy and the ordeal. Like a 
yogin, he wrote his plain letters to his son asking him to be 
self-supporting and consoling his wife that after the greatest 
catastrophe they had passed nearly twenty-five years in 
happiness. He himself had to suffer unparalleled mental tor- 
ments and agonies and he felt all the while a year and a week 
the ingratitude on the part of his countrymen, who aimed 
at damning him in the eyes of the world. That was a burn- 
ing ordeal. It was therefore quite natural for such a man 
of great will power and the burning emblem of sacrifice that 
not a muscle on his face moved as he heard the decision of 
the Court in the Red Fort. 

Savarkar’s acquittal was a thunderbolt to his ill-wishers. 
What a shame ! To Savarkarites and Hindu Sanghatanists 
all over India, his release therefore was an occasion for great 
rejoicings. Telegrams and letters of congratulations were 
showered on him from all parts of India and from abroad. 
Almost all Maharashtrian leading newspapers gave a sigh of 
relief at the acquittal of Savarkar. So did the Hindu 
Sanghatanists and other unbiased straightforward newspapers 
all over India. 

But no sooner was the acquittal of Savarkar pronounced, 
than he was served with a notice under an order of the 
Delhi Magistrate prohibiting him from leaving the Red Fort 
area. It was a keen disappointment for the vast crowds that 
had gathered outside the Red Fort to give an ovation to 
, Savarkar whom they wanted to take out in a procession. A 
few hours later, by another order under the Punjab Public 
Security Measures Act, Savarkar was externed and was pro- 
hibited from entering the Delhi area for a period of three 
months and was escorted under police protection to his house 



at Shivaji Park, Bombay. The train carjying him reached 
Dadar, Bombay, at about 10-30 a.m. on February 12, 1919. 
The news of his departure from Delhi was kept a secret. Yet 
hundreds of Hindu Sanghatanist workers and leaders greeted 
Savarkar at the station. Savarkar was put by the police 
officer, who escorted him from Delhi, in a motor car waiting 
outside the station, and was driven to Savarkar Sadan. At 
his house his wife and some ladies waved auspicious lighted 
wicks around his face in the traditional Hindu fashion and 
thus ended the Red Fort ordeal ! 


After taking rest for about a month at Bombay, Savarkar 
went to Bangalore for a few days for a change. On his way 
back, he heard the news about the accident to the aeroplane 
in which Sardar Patel was travelling and about his miracu- 
lous escape in the neighbourhood of Jaipur. On reaching 
Bombay, Savarkar immediately congratulated Sardar Patel 
on his safety and said in the course of the congratulatory 
telegram that “ the Sardar ’s life constituted a national asset and 
his grasp of the realities and his firm hold on the helm had 
steered the ship of the newly-born Bharatiya State clear of 
many a rock and shoal.” On May 28 Savarkar’s birthday 
was celebrated as usual by ail the District and Provincial 
Hindu Sabhas all over India and some public meetings 
passed resolutions demanding that Government should insti- 
tute an inquiry into the causes that led to the prosecution of 
Savarkar without the least clear evidence against him. 
Savarkar, however, wanted the fire of acrimony enkindled by 
his prosecution to be extinguished and so he communi- 
cated to the Bombay Government his desire that a curtain 
be dropped on the whole affair. 

Towards the end of May 1949, the Constituent Assembly 
passed one important article abolishing the separate electo- 
rates, reservations and weightages which were based on the 
invidious racial and religious discriminations. Upon this 
Savarkar, who was the first nationalist leader to demand this 
very thing years ago, sent a telegram to Sardar Patel con- 
gratulating him for having thus vindicated ‘ the genuine 

hed fort ordeal and after 387 

national clvaracter ol our Bharatiya State ’ and hoped ‘ that 
the adtniiustration would boldly carry it into effect in letter 
and in spirit.’ Thanking Savarkar in return, Sardar Patel 
said in his reply of June 2, that ‘ Government was already 
doing and would continue to do its best to act accordin^y.’ 

In the middle of July 1949, Savarkar sent a telegram to 
Sri M. S. Golwalkar, Chief of the R.S.S., extending his felici- 
tations on the withdrawal of the ban on the R.S.S. and on the 
release of the R.S.S. leader himself. 

The Constituent Assembly had by now far advanced in the 
framing of the constitution and now the question of the 
appellation of the country, the choice of the script and the 
Lingua Franca were being hotly discussed in the Assembly 
and outside. Savarkar wired to the President of the Consti- 
tuent Assembly his views on the subject. He said : “ I am 
voicing the sense and sentiment of millions of our country- 
men when I beseech the Constituent Assembly to adopt 
Bharat, as the name of our nation, Hindi as the national lan- 
guage and Nagari as the national script.” All the three were 
subsequently incorporated into the Constitution by the Consti- 
tuent Assembly for the Bharatiya Republic. 

Just then Master Tara Singh, who was interned since some 
months, was released. Savarkar offered him felicitations on 
his release as he considered that “ Master Tara Singh was one 
of the few leaders who kept up the heroic spirit of our people 
of the Punjab in the dark days of the partition and saved the 
East Punjab at any rate for us.” 

In the same month Savarkar’s younger brother Dr. 
Narayanrao Savarkar, passed away at the age of 61 on October 
19, after remaining in an unconscious state for a fortnight from 
an attack of paralysis. His illness and mental agony dated 
back to January 1948 when he was murderously attacked by a 
riotous mob of goondas inunediately after the assassination of 
Gandhiji and from which he never recovered completely 
afterwards. Next to none in national service, patriotic sacri- 
fice, courage and intelligence, this silver-tongued orator of 
Maharashtra, who had been during the British regime a symbol 
of sedition, sacrifice, revolt and terror while his brothers were 
rotting in the Andamans, died with an uncomproifiising 
opposition to the anti-Hindu and un-Hindu forces. It was a 


cruel misfortune that Savarkar should witness the last of his 
brothers consumed by fire. 

In the meanwhile, the scattered forces of the Hindu 
Sabhaites were preparing to hold the annual Session of the 
Hindu Mahasabha at Calcutta. After a pressing and fervent 
request from the veteran revolutionary leader, Sri Upendra- 
nath Banerjee, who was a co-sufferer with Savarkar in the 
Andamans and was a Congressman for a long time, and 
had turned a Hindu Sabhaite after the Hindu Bengal had 
reaped the fruits of partition, and ardent appeals from Sri 
Ashutosh Lahiri, Savarkar decided to go to Calcutta, and 
started on December 21, 1949, to attend the annual Session 
of the Hindu Mahasabha. Almost throughout the journey, 
Savarkar had to make brief speeches at several stations to 
respond to the greetings of the crowds that awaited his arrival. 
In Calcutta Savarkar was taken out in a huge procession along 
with Dr. Khare, the President-elect, and Sri L. B. Bhopatkar, 
the retiring President. Thousands of people participated in the 
procession. In the Session, too, all attention was centred on 
Savarkar. His acquittal in the Red Fort Trial had now added 
colour and a further romance to his already romantic life. 
Hindu Sanghatanists from all parts of the country gathered 
in thousands at Calcutta to declare to the whole world that 
their saviour had at last come back to guide them. 

When Savarkar entered the Pandal, the huge congregation 
stood up as if electrified with his darshan. It became hilarious 
while shouting ‘ Veer Savarkar ki Jai ’ when Savarkar stood 
before the mike with his palms characteristically resting on 
the handle of his umbrella and wearing his brimless black 
round cap. In his ninety-minute inaugural address to the 
Session, Savarkar stressed first the point that the Indepen- 
dence of India was a victory and not a political gift from the 
British. He asserted that the independence was not accom- 
plished by. the Congress alone, or the revolutionaries alone ; 
it was, he said, the sxunmation of the struggle, sacrifice and 
sufferings of thousands of patriots from 1857 to 1947 inside 
and outside India. He ai&med that India was after all now 
a Hindu State established under a Hindu Flag with the 
Dharma-Chakra of the Hindu Race as its State Symbol. He 
then stressed the need for continuing the Hindu Mahasabha 

“ge P*‘ocession taken out in Calcutta in E>ecember 1P49 in honour of Veer Savarki*** 

£>r. IChare and Sri Bhopatkar 

Savarkar with his wife, daughter and son 


and exhorted the Hindu youths to join the Indian army, navy 
and air forces in thousands. He also pleaded for the adopUon 
of constitutional and democratic legal means for the fulfilment 
of their objectives and appealed to the Hindus not to take the 
law into their own hands. He suggested that there should be 
a policy of tit for tat in our dealings with Pakistan and de- 
clared : “It is the duty of our people to consolidate our posi- 
tion first, and if we are true to our Mother and Soul, by ten 
years’ time we can restore the territories that have been torn 

The President, Dr. Khare, proclaimed in his usual fearless- 
ness the re-entry of the Hindu Mahasabha into the field of 
politics with the ideology of a cultural State and the Hindu 
Rashtra as its guiding stars and affirmed that “ but for the 
pressure increasingly applied by the Hindu Mahasabha, the 
Congress could not have abandoned separate electorates or 
adopted Hindi with Devanagari script as the Rashtra Bhasha.” 

On January 26, 1950, was inaugurated the Sovereign Demo- 
cratic Bharatiya Republic imder the Presidentship of Dr. 
Rajendra Prasad. Savarkar issued a statement to the nation 
on this occasion to commemorate the emancipation of our 
Motherland from the British bondage. He also congratulated 
Dr. Rajendra Prasad on his becoming the first President of 
the Republic. In his congratulatory telegram, he ‘ placed his 
services entirely at the disposal of the Republic in any 
national undertaking and hoped that the foremost task of 
creating the strongest possible Bharatiya army, navy and air 
forces to defend our new-born Republic would receive his 
immediate attention.’ Savarkar ended his congratulatory 
message with the words ‘ Long live Akhand Bharat.* 

In March 1950, the East Bengal burst into a conflagration. 
The Noakhali tragedies were ruthlessly repeated. As fore- 
told by Savarkar, the birth of Pakistan endangered the peace 
and prosperity of Hindusthan, led the Indians to agony, 
misery and sufferings, and Pakistan ‘ sought every opportu- 
nity for expansion.* Moved by these tragedies in the £!ast 
Bengal, even leaders like Sri Jai Prakash Narayan suggested 
that our forces should be sent to the disturbed areas if 
nothing else could stop the carnage. The general opinion in 
the press and the platform seemed to favour the adoption of 
some such drastic step. At this juncture, it was declared that 



Savarkar was going to attend the East Punjab Hindu Confer- 
ence at Rohatak in the second week of April. Savarkar was 
to break his journey at Delhi where the people had planned 
to accord him an imposing reception. 

About this time Pandit Nehru in good faith thought it fit 
to try his method of negotiations to solve the Bengal problem 
and invited Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan, the Premier of Pakistan, 
to Delhi for a parley. The Premier of Pakistan at Karachi 
in his speech before his Parliament levelled an attack against 
the Hindu Mahasabha and attributed the East Bengal trage- 
dies to its propaganda and to a Calcutta speech of Sardar 
Patel in February 1950. And as if to create a calm and quiet 
atmosphere for his delicate negotiations with the Pakistani 
Premier, Savarkar who was out of active politics and who 
had placed his services at the disposal of the Bharatiya Re- 
public, was arrested at Bombay in the early morning of April 
4, 1950, under the Preventive Detention Act, hundreds of 
miles away from Delhi where the delicate negotiations were 
being spun and was put into the Belgaum District Jail. Sri L. 
B. Bhopatkar, Sri G. V. Ketkar, Sri Mamarao Date, Sri K. B. 
Limaye, Sri G. M. Nalavade, and others were also thrown into 
prison. This action on the part of the Govermnent was re- 
sented and condemned by almost the entire press, political 
leaders, and freedom-loving organizations like the Civil 
Liberties Union of Bombay. Condemning this action, the 
Free Press Journal, which had never shown even an iota of 
sympathy with the Hindu Mahasabha, observed : “ The 

offensive against the Hindu Mahasabha and the R.S.S. leaders 
and workers has only one implication. That is, that, Premier 
Nehru has elected to appease Pakistan and imperil the integ- 
rity and the independence of India. The offensive against the 
Hindu Mahasabha and the R.S.S. has a two-fold purpose ; one 
is to divert India’s attention from the policy of appeasement ; 
the other is to create a panic that there is a Hindu conspiracy 
to rally the progressive elements in support of the policy of 
appeasement of Pakistan.” ^ And all this took place in a 
democratic India where the fundamental rights of the freedom 
of speech and of association are guaranteed by the Constitu- 
tion itself ! How long is Free India going to be deprived of 
Savarkar’s nation-building co-operation and powers ? 

1 The Free Press Journal, dated 5-4-1950. 


The Man 


The story of Savarkar is the history of resistance, strife, 
struggle, sufferings and sacrifices for the cause of political, 
social and economic emai^cipation of this Bharat Varsha. His 
is a political career extended over fifty long years. How 
many of his great contemporaries could see pioneers from 
Ranade to philosophers like M. N. Roy, could strive for inde- 
pendence of India and yet have the good fortune to see the 
sun of freedom rise over India ? An active political leader 
who either saw, talked or discussed politics with thinkers 
from Ranade to Roy, leaders from Surendranath to Subhas, 
from liberator Tilak to fighter Achyutrao Patwardhan ! No 
other life on the political stage of India is marked by so many 
vicissitudes, punctuated with raging storms and lightning and 
tantalized with gaping gallows ! This is a political life 
chequered with romantic threads of sufferings and is fringed 
with sacrifices. Woven with recollections of the sea and 
the steamer, it is interspersed with hell-like prison life and is 
lined with historic arrests, trials and releases. Even one single 
incident from the matchless drama of Savarkar’s life is long, 
charming and thrilling enough to provide the span for a play 
of immortal fame. 

All his life Savarkcir has been bruised, bleeding, burning 
and bursting. The sea is never tired of rivers. So is Savarkar 
never tired of sufferings and services. Perhaps no other free- 
dom movement produced such an indefatigable fighter with 
such an undying love for his country ! Who would be pre- 
pared to undergo such unimaginable sufferings, untold sacri- 
fices and face formidable dangers for the mere love of his 
country ? But it was this very characteristic of the forgetful 
fit of the destiny of this man that though all the while storms 
kept raging around him, be it rainy season or spring, yet the 
sun in Savarkar always broke forth. 


Savarkar is an historical personality embodying the duty 
and beauty of a man of mission and action. Ifis majestic 
forehead at once reminds you of the forehead of Napoleon 
who was also a victim of the British imperialistic wrath. One 
look at the crown of his head and you would at once find a 
crown in the middle of his head bequeathed by nature herself. 
His face possesses the effulgent beauty of gold, his frame 
strength of steel, and his head is a store of the hymns of 
revolution. His small luring and penetrating eyes hollowed 
in the high cheek-bones have the depth of the sea, lightning 
of the sky, sweep of the storm and effluence of the volcano. 
His eyes peep and probe into the lessons of the past and they 
unfailingly warn the Hindus every time against the tragedies 
of the present and the impending catastrophes of the future. 
The eyes shine like a lighthouse indicating the unfailing direc- 
tion to the ship of the nation for its movements in order to 
avert the horrors of the approaching wreck. The square jaws 
have witnessed his suppressed thoughts, his burning mission, 
unfulfilled aims, unflagging industry, frustrated plans, stormy 
life and unexampled sacrifice. His short, proportionate hand- 
some figure looks like an image carved out of the bones, 
blood and brains of the great Hindu thinkers and martyrs 
from Hindu History. His head bald and glistening, his chest 
broad and invincible, his waist lion-like, his neck short, his 
hands small and commanding with an excellent rosy colour 
and his height five feet four inches, all this a marvellous 
creation of God and Earth. The artificial beauty of an actress 
or the exaggerated handsomeness of Kashmiri politicians 
would pale before his natural handsomeness. 

And gifted with such a personality and blessed with a life 
full of extraordinary achievements and undying episodes, he 
moved among men as a mighty mesmeric man. Savarkar was 
the first Indian student who was rusticated from the hostel 
of an institution aided by the British Government and the first 
Indian political leader, who publicly performed a bonfire of 
foreign clothes. He was again the first political leader of 
India to daringly proclaim absolute political independence of 
Hindusthan as her goal at a time when the mere word Raj 
or Swaraj spelled ruin for the speaker. Savarkar was the first 
Barrister, who was refused the degree on account of his 



political line of thought by the British Government and was the 
first graduate to lose the degree of an Indian University for 
his love for independence. Savarkar was again the first 
Indian leader to invest the problem of Indian Independence 
with international importance. He was the first Indian author, 
who earned a distinction in the domain of world literature 
as his work was proscribed by the Governments of two coun- 
tries even before it was printed or published. Savarkar was 
also the first rebel leader of India who refused to recognize 
the authority of the British Court of Law. Savarkar was 
the first political prisoner m the history of the world the issue 
of whose arrest was fought out at the International Court at 
the Hague. Savarkar is the first political prisoner in the poli- 
tical history of the world, who was sentenced to half a cen- 
tury’s transportation. Savarkar was the first poet in the 
world, who, deprived of pen and paper, composed and wrote 
his poems on the prison walls with thorns and jjebbles, learnt 
by heart with Vedic tenacity more than ten thousand lines 
of his poetry for years till they reached his country through 
the mouth of others, and showed how since the dawn 
of humanity the great Ary as kept the sacred Vedus circu- 
lating from one generation to another by word of mouth. 
Indeed, the legend of the memory of Macaulay, who could 
repeat all Demosthenes by heart, all Milton and practically 
the whole of the Bible, would find a formidable rival 
in Savarkar. 

Have you heard this typical Mahratta leader at a mass 
meeting ? Dressed in immaculate white, with a black round 
cap on his massive head, a black umbrella in his right hand 
and a fresh newspaper in his left, the deep well-known long 
whiskers on his lustrous serene face and eyes encircled in a 
golden frame, Savarkar’s personality is at once outstanding 
in any vast multitude. What a vast difference in Savarkar, 
the lonely giant in his solitary room and Savarkar, the leader 
and ruler of the masses ! The orator and prophet gets the 
upper hand and Savarkar is always a hero to his valets ! 

Orators feed themselves on history. In it they seek inspi- 
ration. They draw their own conclusions from history. 
History develops their visions, heroes feed them on heroism 
and their incomplete dreams fan their emotions. Demosthenes, 


Pitt, Burke, Daniel Webster, Hitler, and Churchill belonged to 
this type. Savarkar, too, belongs to the line of this immortal 
race of orators. 

Savarkar enters a mass meeting. He comes to the platfoi ni 
walking the gait of a hero, his way opening before him in an 
anxious sea of masses. He bows to the masses. The masses 
move with waves of emotions as if the moon were in the sky. 
He rises to deliver his message. He never comes with a set 
speech. He usually speaks on the spur of the moment, lie 
is like quick-silver. One listens to him in pin-drop silence or 
misses the train of his arguments. His voice is a gre^at asset 
and has a peculiar ring. His eyes glitter and glow when he 
becomes animated. 

Savarkar mercilessly overthrows the fallacies in the foggy 
logic of his opponents. His opponents are bewildered at the 
torrent of his eloquence. At every sentence you feel an oppo- 
nent reeling. The flag goes to Attock, to Assam, to Cape 
Comorin. His speech tears the mask of shams and confronts 
you with naked realities. His speech has the whirl of a storm. 
His humour is merciless. He throws logic and reasoning at 
you through emotion. The audience thrills. It claps. It 
moves. His eyes flash fire. His face glows with the mission 
that burns bright in him. The masses mark the stout heart, 
watch the steel frame, iron will, majestic forehead and the 
boundless sincerity of a personality that heralded an era into 
the history of Indian political struggle and social revolution. 

Savarkar’s remarkable political speeches and masterpieces 
were delivered before the Peshwas’ Shanivarwada, Poona, on 
the Ghats of Cawnpore or in Delhi. They struck his critics 
dumb, and cleared doubts and dusty thoughts. It is characteris- 
tic of Savarkarian speeches that they sound as though the 
Muse of oratory danced, played and wept with the feelings, joys 
and sorrows of Savarkar ! His masterpieces begin with such 
earnest and gripping sentences in a deep sonorous voice and 
end with such a dramatic touching rise and fall in his voice 
and moving tone that old men shed tears, youths are filled 
with unbearable pathos and women piteously sigh. His magni- 
ficent oratory, clear-cut thoughts and inspiring messages have 
often sealed and unsealed historic decisions. He defeated and 
left a wreck of Gandhiji's draft resolution advising the 



withdrawal of the Hyderabad struggle before the Sholapur 
Conference of the Arya Samaj in 1939. His concluding 
speech at the Nagpur Session of the Hindu Mahasabha deli- 
vered with a heart-force and a burning mission inspired the 
inter-provincialists and new-comers. Leaders like Dr. 
Mookerjee were magnetized during the course of one of such 
speeches at Calcutta. Not only leaders, lawyers and literary 
figures listen to him spell-bound, but foreigners also are en- 
chanted with the magic w; ,d of his oratory. While Savarkar 
was on his way to Shilloi'j , an Englishman travelling in the 
same train, heard the deafening greetings of the people to 
Savarkar at every station. At one station the Englishman 
requested Savarkar through his secretary to make a short 
speech ; for he had heard in England, he said, that Savarkar 
was one of the greatest orators. He heard Savarkar speak before 
a crowd at the next station, introduced himself to Savarkar 
and wishing him all success went away. Fortunate were 
those who heard him speak on the ‘War of Independence of 
1857 ’ after his release in 1937. Those who heard his Presi- 
dential at the Marathi Literary Conference in 
Bombay were lucky. Those who attended the Non-Party 
Conference in Bombay and Poona need no introduction to 
understand why Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru came to Savarkar’s 
chair at the time of the Bombay Non-Party Conference, 
thanked Savarkar from the bottom of his heart and said ; “It 
is you who saved the Conference.” Of Savarkar the Amrit 
Bazar Patrika, Calcutta, said that Savarkar was a man of 
Mission. The Sunday Standard, Bombay, described him as 
an orator of the first order. It added : “ Few others in the 

whole of India can thrill and sway his listeners as this simple- 
looking Hindu leader can. He is an orator of the first degree ; 
and it is a pleasure to hear him speak, his eyes flashing, his 
lips quivering, his weak body trembling with emotion.” India 
has enjoyed the scintillating speeches of Srinivas Sastri, the 
sweet flow of Jayakar, the roarings of the tireless Satyamurthi, 
the powerful appeal of Maulana Azad, the high-flown emotio- 
nal speeches of Devi Sarojini Naidu, the seriousness of the 
visionary in Pandit Nehru and the chattering train of Rajaji, 
but India witnessed the culmination and perfection of oratory 
in Savarkar, rightly called the Indian Demosthenes. 



If you want to study the history of the Indian Revolution, 
the history of the social revolution in Maharashtra, and the 
history of the literary movement launched to purge the Indian 
languages of foreign influence and words, and keep our Lingua 
Franca undefiled, you must study Savarkar. Maharashtra has 
not produced a more volcanic brain than Savarkar, a leader 
whose outlook is absolutely rational and up-to-date. According 
to him, rational outlook must obtain control over the political, 
social and military life of India, if India is to survive the 
struggle for existence. Savarkar welcomes the machine age, 
believes in mechanized agriculture and modernised industry. 
He wants India to prepare and equip herself physically, 
mentally, technically, mechanically and militarily, not with 
the object of enslaving other nations, but for liberating the 
enslaved peoples of the world from all kinds of shackles, 
superstitions and imperialism. During the last two decades 
no leader has waged more ruthlessly an unrelenting war 
against the barriers of caste system in schools and in public 
places, in intercaste dinners and in social intercourse, and has 
as much suffered, toiled and faced dangers and dispraise and 
even curses as Savarkar in the annihilation of untouchability. 
That is why they call him a fusion of the great Mahratta 
leaders of modem times who heralded a new epoch in the 
history of India. The spirit of Nanasahib, who fought the 
War of Indian Independence of 1857, the sweep of Wasudeo 
Balwant Phadke who first raised an armed revolt in Maha- 
rashtra for the establi-shment of an Indian Republic, the mental 
force of Chiplunkar, the reformative zeal of Agarkar, the 
sacrifice and struggle of Tilak, the service of Gokhale and 
untiring work of Kelkar, all these find an echo in the alchemy 
of Savarkar. Who made Shivaji what he was ? Who 
moulded Tilak ? Paranjpe or no Paranjpe, Tilak or no 
Tilak, Savarkar would have been Savarkar ! 

Savarkar is a Hindu among the Hindus, but of the Chitor 
type. He is proud of his heritage and grateful to it. He finds 
his guiding star in Lord Krishna, the glory of Hindusthan. He 
sees in Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj the fount of inspiration. 
He regards Rana Pratap as the fire of patriotism, Guru Govind 



Singh the sire of martyrdom, and Sadashiv Bhau the righteous 
sword of Hindusthan. To defend, to enliven and to raise the 
Hindu Nation is to him a national, patriotic, righteous, just, 
human and a sublime cause. 

Savarkar does not hate you because you are an Englishman 
or a Mohammedan or a Jew ! He has paid glowing tributes 
to the skill and might of the Britishers. Savarkar was the 
only leader in India, who envisaged a State for the floating 
race of the Jews ever since 1908, and in 1923, he wrote in his 
famous work Hindutim that ‘ if the Zionists’ dreams were 
realised, if Palestine became a Jewish State, it would gladden 
us almost as much as our Jewish friends.’ * Since his release 
in 1937, he had been a staunch supporter of the idea of a 
Jewish state in Palestine and in 1947, no Indian leader was as 
happy as Savarkar except possibly Master Tara Singh to see the 
emergence of a Jewish Slate in Palestine. It was curious that 
Jinnah, who fought for the partition of India, paradoxically 
opposed the partition of Palestine, and Gandhiji and Nehru, 
who favoured the Arabs with an undivided Palestine accelerat- 
ed and accepted the vivisection of India ! As for the Parsees 
and Christians, Savarkar had no grudge against them. He not 
only appreciated their co-operation and patriotic outlook, but 
also cherished hopes of building with them an Indian State 
in which the religion, culture and language of the minorities 
would be preserved. He never cherished to impose dis- 
advantages upon the non-Hindus. That is why he met and 
discussed in a frank, free and accommodating spirit with the 
leaders of the Parsees, the Jews and the Cliristians who wanted 
to remain in India as loyal citizens enjoying equal rights with 
the Hindus. But as he rightly suspected the separatist tenden- 
cies and extra-territorial ambition of the Muslims, he was not 
prepared to give them an inch more than they democratically 
deserved and for this outspokenness he was called a communa- 
list by those who were pro-Muslim. Events have proved now 
the correctness of Savarkar’s stand and the futility and falsity 
of the appeasing policy of the pro-Muslim patriots who 
claimed the appellation nationalists for themselves. Some of 
the pro-Muslim Hindu leaders and journals drum that the 
medieval days of the Peshwas are gone. But they forget that 

1 Savarkar, Hirtdutva, p. 112. 


had Savarkar lived during the Peshwa rule, he -would have 
conquered back the land of Gandhar and it is equally true 
that he would have bravely faced the Todarmals, Birbals and 

It is, however, a fact that Savarkar is an echo of the unjustly 
suppressed, exploited and disturbed soul of the Hindus. His 
soul has become one, and is synchronized with the sorrows 
and joys of Hindudom, the Hindu world. Whenever some- 
thing harms or jeopardizes the interests, property, honour and 
lives of the Hindus, he gets restless. So perennial is his love 
for the Hindus, so eternal is his hope of their great future and 
the role of the Hindus in the building of the peace and 
prosperity of the world, that he is infuriated whenever he 
hears that the Hindus are suppressed and their just rights 
denied ; and when that feeling is on him, he shows signs of a 
violent dislike for those who trample upon the Hindu rights, 
oppress them and make aggressions on them. 

Savarkar has been waging war since his early youth. His 
war is against those who trample upon the just and fimda- 
mental rights of the Hindus in their Homeland. His war is 
against those who deface and disgrace humanity in this land. 
His was the war of a Nation against all intruders, disruptive 
men and bogus World Federalists whose practice was divorced 
from their professions and whose actions led to the break-up 
of the solidarity and the integrity of Hindusthan. And there- 
fore Savarkar is a terror to tyrants, foe to injustice, an antidote 
to anti-nationalists and an unforgiving critic of the pro-Muslim 
politicians in India. To him a disruptive patriot or a Pakistani 
Hindu is synonymous with a pretender or a traitor respec- 
tively and literally. Savarkar is opposed to Pakistans as heat 
is to cold. His political philosophy is as different from 
Gandhism as chalk from charcoal. He wants a place for the 
Hindus on the map of the world as Bharat Bhoomi or 
Hindusthan and so he says that Hindusthan belongs to the 
Hindus. What is -wrong in it ? Can the Hindus rightfully 
say that Britain, Germany or Turkastan belongs to them ? 

Savarkar is an electric powerhouse. You cannot touch it. 
His conversational gift is nothing less than dictatorial, but 
tinged with utmost rationalism. To begin -with, he will 
patiently listen to you with some pertinent queries and then 



would do 1 .ost of the talking. Looking to the force of his 
arguments, logic and reasoning, some say he is vain and 
egoistic. But the fact is that by temperament he is assertive, 
unyielding and dictatorial due to a feeling of superiority 
complex, a belief in the rightness and justice of his cause and 
due to his strong convictions and mellowed thoughts. And 
strong personalities cire alw^ays so. Bernard Shaw once 
silenced his critics who charged him with vanity and egoism. 
He told his cj'itics that had any of them gone through the trials 
and hardships which he himselt had undergone, he would 
have been hundred limes tnore vciin and egoistic than Shaw 
himself. One-tenth of Savarkar’s trials, tribulations and 
talents, and the critics would have been ten times more egoistic 
and vain than Savarkar. 

Savarkar’s logic is curt, his humour caustic and his whipping 
electric. He is a stern mouth-stopper. During his premier- 
ship Mr. Fazlul Huq boasted that the Muslims were tigers and 
lions and they would harass the Hindus. Savarkar hit him 
back : “ The history of creation proves that it is men who 

have reclaimed the earth and lions and tigers had to retii*e 
to the obscuritj^ of the forest. We Hindus are men. One man 
with a whip in his hand controls scores of lions and tigers in 
a circus and these beasts obey wonderfully well.’’ The same 
Muslim leader said that Malabar was a part of Arabia. 
Savarkar pulled him up by replying tliat if it was so, then 
Arabia must be annexed to India ! To the Pakistanis and their 
supporters who said that because in some provinces the 
Muslims were in a majority, they wanted Pakistan, Savarkar 
replied with equal ruthlessness that because in Hindustban 
the Hindus were in a majority, Hindusihan belonged to the 
Hindus. Dr. Rajendra Prasad said during the Biharsharif riot 
days that he advised the Hindus as his own people. Savarkar 
asked Dr. Rajendra Prasad as to w^hen he had deserted his 
Indian Nationalism and condescended to call only the Hindus 
his own people. One wordy Socialist once asked Savarkar 
whether he had read Lenin. The upstart was silenced by 
Savarkar with one stroke : “ Had Lenin read Savarkar ? ” Not 
that he has neglected literature on Communism. The author 
has seen some books on the subject in Savarkar ’s small 
personal library read, underlined and with remarks made in 


the margin by Savarkar at the proper places, especially on 
books by Lenin and Trotsky. Savarkar has read many book.s 
on the subject before his release and of late he often directs 
his men to buy the latest books on Socialism. But what he 
hates most is blind babbling of foreign phraseology and blind 
worship -which totally disregard the conditions, traditions and 
the history of our country. 

Savarkar is a unique combination of a dreamer and a doer, 
a prophet and a warrior, a realist and a revolutionary all in 
one man. In him you will find a Washington who unsheathed 
liis sword for freedom ; a Thomas Paine who wielded an 
inspiring pen, and a Mazzini who ushered in a revolutionary 
epoch and started the war of Independence. Soaringly 
imaginative yet severely logical, erudite yet perspicuous, 
Savarkar is not merely a great writer, but a very great one. 
Describing Savarkar’s place in the domain of literature, 
Gandhiji’s Mahratta biographer, Sri D. N. Shikhare wrote : 

“ It is admitted on all hands, including his political opponents, 
that Mr. Savarkar is a rare genius. He is a pen of fire. He 
wields pen and pistol alike. Patriotism and Poetry run 
through the veins of his literature. England may be proud of 
her statesmen writers like Morley and MacDonald and Russia 
may well boast of Tolstoy and Gorky ; but India surpasses all 
these countries in having Mr. Savarkar who is a writer, a 
statesman and a warrior. His pen would have shaken the 
world from its bottom but for the narrow scope of the Marathi 
language, through which mother tongue he masterly expresses 
himself.^ In India Savarkar as an author is a class by him- 
self, for Savarkar has -written in blood lines with his blood 
and the bones of martyrs. It is the characteristic of all 
immortal authors that they cannot write in artificial pruned 
lines with their stomach at ease, for there is no halfway house 
for positive personalities. Savarkar’s -writings raise a storm 
of emotions and shake your intellect. His pen arouses fierce 
hatred and fierce loyalties. You feel a storm has passed over 
you or some power has dashed against you. All his -writings, 
both jyoetry and prose, preach resistance to tyranny, inspire 
you with courage and direct your energies towards the libera- 
tion of mankind from all bondages. Savarkar is a great poet, 

1 D. N. Shikhare, The Mahratta, dated 27-5-1938. 



a poet of g!’eat, grand and epic poetry. His poetry is logic 
on fire, as all great poetry is, and satisfies your intellect as 
well as emotions. His epic genius gave the people high ideals, 
his great pen infused an irresistible spirit of independence into 
the people, his supreme courage and unparalleled sacrifice 
aroused their patriotic feeUngs, his words made them feel the 
spirit of nationality and realize the solidarity of the nation. 
Savarkar has educated the illiterate, motivated the educated 
and activized the learned. 

Savarkar is a great social reformer. Neither talkative nor 
fashionable reformers can « neasure Savarkar’s worth and work 
in purging the society pitilessly and fearlessly of its ills, 
ignorance and superstitions. Many were a bell-ringer to social 
revolution, a few worked actually in the field, but few had the 
unfailing courage and the genius of a practical social reformer. 
A social reformer requires a certain amoimt of courage, con- 
viction and a stout but elastic heart to achieve his goal. And 
Savarkar’s courage and heart have well shaken the world. 
His strong conviction, dauntless courage, endless faith, endur- 
ing capacity for work, unremitting industry, untiring energy, 
invincible determination and a volcanic pen belong to the type 
of men like Luther, Knox, Mazzini, Rousseau, Voltaire and 
Carlyle, who represent the moral force of the world and stamp 
their mind upon their age. 

But the outstanding characteristic of Savarkar is that he is 
a great iconoclast, one of the greatest idol-breakers Asia has 
ever seen or produced. A strong will, a volcanic pen, a power- 
ful hammer, a fiery heart, a scathing contempt for hypocrisy, 
Savarkar is a born iconoclast, who despises and scorns 
hypocrisy in religion, society, and politics. He does not strutt 
off as an agent of God descended down to herald a new era, 
nor does he pretend to possess an inner voice. His is the 
voice of reason and science. Therefore he ruthlessly routed 
and pitilessly hammered out all kinds of superstitions, bond- 
ages, sanctimonious hypocrisy in society, in religion and in 
politics. From bigoted Sanatanists to bogus saints, dead or 
alive, none escaped the strokes of his hammer ! He possesses 
all the attributes, tests and elements of greatness. According 
to Dr. Ambedkar a Great Man is he who acts as the scourge 
and scavenger of society. Savarkar is a really Great Man, 


who is motivated by the dynainics of a social purpose anu 
has acted as the scourge and scavenger of Society. 

Savarkar is a hero at many points. The hero as poet in 
Savarkar is extolled to the skies in Maharashtra ; the hero 
as a man of letters, he is claimed to be an immortal author 
by litterateurs ; the hero as patriot in Savarkar is deified all 
over India ; but the hero as prophet in Savarkar is not yet 
appreciated by many outside his party. The business of a 
prophet is to see and teach. A prophe t possesses three main 
qualities. They are insight, courage and sincerity. As to 
courage and sincerity, Savarkars name is now a legend. 
Savarkar has proved the unfaiiingiiess of his insight on several 
occasions. Savarkar predicted as early as 1925 that the separa- 
tion of Sind from Bombay Province for appeasing the Muslim 
mind would be a disastrous precedent, would destroy the Sind 
Hindus and would pique the appetite of the anti-national 
Muslims. In 1938 he declared to the surprise of the whole 
nation that the Congress led by Gandhiji would betray the 
nation and would destroy the unity of India by conceding 
Pakistan. In 1940 he warned the Assam Hindus that if they 
did not check the Muslim influx into Assam, Assam would 
meet the fate of Sind and Bengal. Congressmen then laughed 
at him. However, in 1947 they owned his prophecy, for Assam 
was almost tagged to Pakistan, but was fortunately saved 
through the vigilance of the leaders who at last realized the 
danger after the frantic and hoarse cry of Savarkar. The 
warning sounded about the fate of Kashmir in 1938 went 
unheard and the Kashmir Hindus paid for it and ultimately 
Hindus all over Hindusthan had to pay crores of rupees and 
pour their blood for defending Kashmir from the onslaughts 
of the Pakistanis. Did not the Nizam, too, suffer the fate as 
predicted by Savarkar ? 

When World War II broke out and Russia joined it, 
Savarkar at once remarked that the crafty Britain had saved 
her throat, and now she would swallow the whole of Africa. 
At the time of the battle of Stalingrad, Savarkar said that if 
Japan failed to attack Russia from the Eastern side, both 
Germany and Japan would lose the war and Japan would 
have to pay for her folly in the long run. What actually did 
happen is too well known to be recounted. 



Men of prophetic vision never try to please the masses. They 
aim at guiding them. They always look to the larger interests 
of the people, not only of their own generation, but of future 
generations as well. So they are many a time not as popular 
as they should be. They never pander to popularity, nor do 
they sacrifice their conscience for success. The masses do not 
understand the prophetic visions of these men because what 
these prophets see is beyond their horizon. 


The shades of prison life have dominated the citizen 
Savarkar, and have much affected the politician Savarkar too. 
Those shades and shadows often times obscure his social inter- 
course with his partymen and public men. Moody and erratic, 
he could not create a certain warmth that is needed in a party 
chief towards his colleagues, partymen and followers. For the 
consolidation and success of a political party, the wings of 
the soft heart of the party chief reach at least the con- 
necting hooks in the link. The chief must be cordial enough 
to enquire about the difficulties of his lieutenants and ajTange 
to help them so as to enable them to devote their best to the 
cause and service of the people. Excepting the rare names 
of Ranade, Tilak and Gandhiji, no other party chief could bring 
himself to this much-needed accommodating frame of mind. 
Tilak ran to distant places even for settling the marriage of a 
daughter of his disciple, or could advise a farmer in the matter 
of his legal problems even from the Mandalay Prison. 
Gandhiji could tear out his heart, what of purse, to soothe the 
grief and troubles of his peirty leaders. But the case of 
Savarkar, the political leader, is quite different. He could 
not respond to the enthusiasm or warmth of other leaders, who 
sought his interviews or valuable guidance, or those who even 
passed valuable information on to him secretly. The fate of 
interviewers and foreign visitors was no better. The glamour 
of the furniture of Mr. Jinnah, the warmth and hospitality of 
the special guest-house of Tilak for political leaders and 
eminent guests, the living interest and paternal inquiries of 
Gandhiji into the personal affairs of his lieutenants, and Pandit 
Nehru’s abiding hospitality to foreigners, or friendly invitations 


for dinners to eminent men, admirers, or party leaders, 
or a casual invitation to his inter-provincial visitors or an 
appreciative call to the pressmen, all these could not impress 
Savarkar, the political leader. Cynically disinterested, he did 
not feel any inward urge for it. His ideas and beliefs of 
patriotic duties and national obligations were purely and 
supremely patriotic and selfless. His motto was duty irres- 
pective of any consideration of fruit. And this was the noble 
motto of all those early selfless revolutionaries. Savarkar 
expected every Indian to do his duty by his Motherland who 
pined for freedom. This highly disinterested and selfless 
mental make-up came in the way of the modern set-up of 
propaganda, which depends upon much give and take. This 
has materially affected the destiny of the party and his leader- 

But in spite of such restricted sense of warmth in the social 
intercourse and sympathy with his party men, lieutenants 
and followers due to the legacy of his long prison life and 
shattered health, Savarkar is the only political leader in India 
for whom and at whose command hundreds of youths would 
lay down their lives. This is due to Savarkar’s unrivalled 
genius, selfless patriotism, unparalleled sacrifice and dynamic, 
mighty and mesmeric personality. 

So, introvert and restless, Savarkar breathes flames of un- 
dying faith in spite of an unsympathetic and unsound consti- 
tution that has withstood unimaginable horrors, terrors and 
tortures of the Andamans. “ A long exile in the Andamans 
wrecked his health early in life, and it is amazing how he has 
regathered his strength and carried on so long in public life,” 
remarked the National Herald while commenting on the 
retirement of Savarkar in 1943. So much unsound is his 
constitution that sleep is always forced on him by the use of 
bromide. Writing about the introvert and restless Savarkar, 
a writer in the Hindusthan Times, Delhi, described Savarkar 
as an ascetic and inward looking man who in his youth almost 
set the Thames on fire, and observed : “ Savarkar is strange. 
He may not glitter. His attitude may not please you. He is 
mesmeric with a capacity to infuse in an observer a sense of 
cold aloofness.” A little cynicism may be, therefore, excused 
in such a highly constrained constitution. For almost thirteen 



years he was companionless and was forced to eat with 
cruel punctuality, at the same place and the same quality and 
kind of food prepared with the matchless prison skill and 
medical care. This has made him what he is today. His iso- 
lation is mostly due to circumstances and partly due to his 
temperament. He lives alone. That giants must live apart 
and kings have no company is true, Hterally true of Savarkar. 

Savarkar, the promoter of science and advocate of 
modernism, lives a very simple life. Wonderstruck at the 
homely and rough simplicity of his little house known as 
Savarkar Sadan, once Sri Srinivas Sastri asked : “ Savarkar, 
is this the house you live in ? ” “ Yes,” replied Savarkar. 

“ Why, is this not more comfortable than the cell in the 
Andamans ? ” And Sastri was struck with a strange emotion. 
After much consideration and many visits of world-famous 
men to his house, there were slight additions which he would 
call considerable to the equipment and establishment of his 
house by way of a little furniture. It is a plain middle-class 
life of contentment, which yearns not for what it does not 

Savarkar has no friends. Almost all his brilliant colleagues 
of early days have perished in foreign lands ; others here are 
now dead and gone. His present colleagues and co-workers 
cannot understand exactly what he is. Even older politicians 
like Dr. Moonje talked with Savarkar with due care and awe 
and none tried to be familiar with him. As to the relations, 
there are few who venture to be on visiting terms with the 
family and none lives with him. It is generally the case with 
all revolutionary leaders that they live almost estranged and 
segregated from their friends and families as the circumstances 
and nature of their work demand. In normal course none 
would be willing to cast in one’s lot with a revolutionary and 
that too a leader, and incur the displeasure of the authorities. 
And Savarkar is such a name ! Terrific, towering, volcanic, 
panoramic, mesmeric and historic ! What of living and stay- 
ing with the person, the fire, those who have played with the 
name have quailed and have been haunted throughout their 
lives and it has sat upon their chest like nightmare ! Because 
of ever-attending dangers Savarkar stays alone with his small 
family consisting of his wife and only son and sometimes his 


TCVartVed daughter on a visit to her father. His brother, Dr N. 
D Savarkar, resided with his family in the same locality, 
Savarkar is blessed with a wife of a great Aryan type repre- 
sentative of the traditional loyalty and endless devotion that 
stood the long period of 18 years Ml of trials and sufferings. 
Sober, deep, silent and enduring, she is a prudent housewife 
and a noble soul. The household affairs are smooth and regu- 
lar. There is no question of choosing food or eatables. Simple 
food and fruits, bare necessities and no waste is the rule of the 
kitchen. The kitchen is not bothered about the likes and 
dislikes. No complaints, no worries whether some vegetables 
have less salt or more of spices. Often bhajis and curds and 
at times icecream and shrikhand are welcome. That a man 
should not be addicted to anything, but should be accustomed 
to many things is the rule. During a railway journey he may 
take eggs-curry and seldom mutton, but no smoking, wine 
never, not a drop in any form. Savarkar does not like a hot 
meal ; almost cold eatables he relishes which you may call a 
legacy of the Andamans. 

When Savarkar is in a happy mood, he may indistinctly 
hum to himself a line or two from his poetry. In a happy 
mood and when alone, he may stretch his legs a little, may 
give a gentle push to his cap if it is on, and may hum a tune. 
Chocolates and Jintan are relished by him. Snuff is his 
companion ; scent his abiding luxury. His one hobby is 
gardening and the poet is seen in communion with plants and 
flowers. Regular light physical exercise in the evening is a 
habit. He has no love for music. For art he has respect. 

Grief, pain, worries and anger he would not give expression 

) to. Neither would joy giggle over his face. Those who sur- 
round him must observe precision in details, for his cross- 
examinations are testing and inseparable and to some extent 
worrying, even the slightest deviation being immediately 
detected. None can hide facts from the penetrating and 
searching eyes. It is true that he is not easy of access. You 
have to fix up an appointment beforehand. Strict adherence 
to this rule has saved him much harassment, but also has 
estranged many. Travellers, business magnates, eminent 
leaders and even princes had to go back because they did not 
fix up the interviews beforehand. If you come to Bombay on 



some work of yours and come to Savarkar Sadan in your 
huriy to leave Bombay when Savarkar has no time, is it the 
fault of Savarkar that you leave his house disappointed ? 
Under such a troubled situation, a great liberal luminary once 
remarked that it was easy to see the King Emperor or the 
Viceroy but not Savarkar. 

Savarkar’s handwriting is small, slanting and spreads over 
every corner by and by. As with time so with paper. He 
uses it sparingly. No letter would be ready for being posted 
unless the important lines therein are underhned. You may 
love to see him reading a newspap>er. He holds the news- 
paper in the left hand and, lifting his spectacles a little with 
his right thumb, he goes on reading and commenting briefly. 

Savarkar gets up at about seven in the morning. His break- 
fast consists of eggs and tea. Then he peruses newspapers, 
attends to his correspondence, and interviews his visitors 
between 9 a.m. and 11-30 a.m. About noon he takes liis bath 
and then meal in the kitchen almost all by himself. In between 
the meal and the bath he would often sit like a Yogin for an 
hour or so as if in a trance which he calls concentration of 
mind. At such a time his food may become cold, his wife 
waiting silently in the kitchen. Owing to pressure of work, 
of late he found no time to practise what he calls concentration 
of mind. At noon he has siesta. In the evening comes the 
reading of important letters to be replied, detailed reading of 
newspapers and select books. After tea and a talk with 
familiar guests, if any, he goes downstairs for a stroll in his 
garden with some gardener's tools accompanied by the watch- 
man who assists him. Then follows the daily regular physical 
exercise. After supper he devotes generally an hour or so to 
important office work and retires with some regular dose of 

One point more and quite interesting. As is typical of 
revolutionary leaders, Savarkar talks very slowly about his 
personal and home matters. To him secrets are treasures. He 
is too great a veteran revolutionary leader. None could screw 
out from him what Dr. Schatt, the German Finance Wizard, 
told him on the eve of the outbreak of World War II, nor the 
source he received the letters of Has Behari Bose from Japan 


during the coiu-se of World War II, nor the full details of his 

meeting with Subhas Bose. 


Savarkar is majestic in his misery and serene in his sorrows. 
He clings to the state of his things with the pride of a Pope. 
Where politics and policy are concerned, money means little 
or nothing, his ideal everything. Savarkar will not march 
with anybody and everybody, be he a kingly Kuber or a 
moneyed Mahatma. Men of mission never rotate around 
others like satellites. They are creators of dynasties and 
makers of kings and kingdoms. They never sacrifice their 
conscience for wordly success ; nor do they care for a passing 
phase of life, of fame and of happiness. So is Savarkar. What 
position Savarkar could not have achieved which eminent 
Liberals, moderate politicians and opportunist leaders could 
achieve ? Is there any talent superior to Savarkar in the first 
Cabinet of Free India in intellect, in sacrifice, in mental and 
oratorical powers, in patriotic service, in intellectual honesty 
and political strategy ? Where his lieutenant leader, 
Dr. Mookerjee, could ascend with his blessing, he could have 
easily walked into such positions. But Savarkar did not 
compromise his conscience for the success of personal gains and 
cheap popularity. He sacrificed all the great honour that 
could have easily fawned at his feet, or else “ our dream of an 
Indian Republic with Vinayak Damodar Savarkar as its first 
President ” ^ would have been realized today. 

But life for a cause, for a faith and not for power, Savarkar 
loves most. That life may be surrounded by a storm, or a 
volcano or the gallows. For, to refuse to betray one’s con- 
science to the last, in spite of a general defeat and humiliation 
and stand for a fight against the world, bearing a cheerful 
face and the cross of sacrifice as freely as the sunflower gives 
its bosom to the rays of the sun, is the creed of Savarkar. 
Savarkar is a patriot, who fights losing battles and has the 
spirit of martyrs who face defeats and death amidst the shouts 
of enemies. Naturally, to Savarkar the greatest sacrifice a 
man can make in his life is that of cheap fame. Times without 

* Niranjan Pal, The Mahratta, dated 27-5-1938. 



number he told his co-workers, his lieutenants and followers 
in the Mahasabha that those who had people’s welfare at 
heart should never pander to popularity. Kant also said the 
same thing. He said : “ Seek not the favour of the multitude, 
for it is seldom got by honest and lawful means.” And 
although Savarkar pitilessly hammered the so-called gods, 
godmen and superstitions out oi the temples of society, religion 
and politics, his popularity is tremendous, extraordinary and 
abiding. Countless heads have bowed down before Savarkar, 
lakhs of believing multiti; Jes have fallen at his feet with devo- 
tion in spite ol his resisting unwillingness on rational grounds. 
Male and female octogenarians have regarded him as an 
incarnation of God, the Patitpavan, and a few even breathed 
their last in tranquillity after having a look at his picture which 
they believed to be divine. In the emulation of their devotion 
to Savarkar many brilliant youths like Sri Maokar of Nagpur 
risked their lives. Many have thrown out pictures of false 
gods and so-called godmen after a visit to Savarkar. His old 
colleagues and veteran public men have wriggled in their 
death-beds awaiting his impossible Darshan — glimpse — and 
some died with his name on their faltering tongue and waver- 
ing lips instead of the call of Ramnam ! Several revolutiona- 
ries, many patriots and some poets have borne the dust from 
his residence on their foreheads with devotion. To thousands 
he is nothing less than a God. To lakhs he is an art of 
eloquence. To millions he is a poem of patriotism, a picture 
of sacrifice and to poets he is an acted epic ! 

Such a fiery, positive and forceful personality is bound to 
be brutally frank in his criticism of historic and contemporary 
personalities. Of Tilak he ever speaks with reverence. He 
has defensive love for Kelkar, reverence for Ranade, high 
respect for Gokhale, Nana Shankarshet, Dadabhoy Naoroji, 
Surendranath Banerjee, B. C. Pal, Srinivas Sastri, M. R. 
Jayakar and Vijayaraghavachariar. For Lajpat Rai, Hardayal, 
Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, Ras Behari Bose, Bhai Parma- 
nanda, and Moonje he has a deep love. He has a soft corner 
for M. N. Roy and Subhas Bose. He describes Vivekananda 
as a world genius, Dayananda as a Yogi, a seer and a spiritual 
teacher who worked like a giant for the uplift of mankind, and 
describes Dr. Ambedkar’s towering personality, erudition and 


capacity to lead as an asset to the nation. He styled Rama- 
nanda Chatterjee as a great patriot, who defended the 
legitimate rights of the Hindus and whose humanitarianism 
and nationalism, he said, were of the purest ray serene. When 
Rajaji propagated the ideal of Pakistan, Savarkar described 
him as a subtle mad MuUa though he had once described 
Rajaji as the best Premier. He calls Azad crafty ; Pandit 
Nehru sincere but flamboyeint. He wishes well of Sardar 
Patel as to him the Sardar is the only man in the Congress 
‘ who has steered the ship of our newly born Bharatiya State 
clear of many a rock and shoal.’ 

Savarkar is Sir C. V. Raman’s bright Diamond. Millions 
hail him as Swatantryaveer — the hero of Independence. To 
Rajaji Savarkar is a symbol of courage, bravery, fearlessness 
and intense patriotism and a pioneer who strove and struggled 
for inflaming the aspirations of the Indian people.' Gandhiji 
paid tributes to Savarkar’s patriotism and fearlessness and said 
that sacrifice was the common bond between them.'-’ Jayakar 
said that to honour Savarkar was to honour patriotism and 
sacrifice. M. N. Roy described him as his inspirer and a fear- 
less man and appreciated his sacrifice and intellectual honesty. 
Sri Srinivas Sastri hailed Savarkar as ‘ a great and fearless 
patriot and added that volumes could be written about Veer 
Savarkar’s yeomen services in the cause of Indian freedom.’ 
Mr. K. F. Nariman described Savarkar as a colourful, 
picturesque and romantic personality. Bhai Parmananda said 
of him that Savarkar was the fusion of Burke and Mazzini. 
To Mr. S. R. Pather, Bar-at-law, South Africa, and one-tune 
colleague of Savarkar, India owes her present advanced posi- 
tion to Savarkar’s early struggle in the cause of freedom. To 
historian Dr. Pattabhi, Savarkar is one of the noble characters 
that devoted their life to this noble and patriotic task (emanci- 
pation of Motherland) and who worked according to their 
lights and according to the lights of the times for the emanci- 
pation of India. To Guy A. Aldred, editor the Word, Glasgow, 
he is a prophet, and deserves a place in the line of prophets ! 

1 Kajaji, Message to the Lokamanya, dated 26-6-1937. 

2 D. N. Shikhare, the Chitraviaya Jagat, November 1944. 




But what about the aims and ideal for which Savarkar stood 
and fought ? Is his life a success ? It is for the cool, 
calculating and balanced history to assess man’s work with a 
cold impartiality and grade it great or otherwise. Feelings, 
passion;; and prejudices often affect contemporary judgment. 

Reviewing this eventful life, one finds two notes of action, 
which had filled the skies at the time of Savarkar’s birth and 
boyhood, have echoed tin ough the life story of Savarkar. The 
revolting force of Wasudeo Balw^ant, the spiritual and social 
renaissance set in by Dayananda on the one hand, and the 
wave of Hindu-Muslim riots and the consequential bifurcation 
in the political ideal of the Hindus and Muslims on the other. 
The revolutionary urge and the Hindu-Muslim problem clung 
to Savarkar’s life throughout. Savarkar took a vow while 
in his teens that he would fight out the British power and make 
his country free, independent and great. His political ideal 
was : “ India must be independent. India must be united. 

India must be republican. India must have one common 
tongue. India must have one common script. That script is 
Nagari ; that Language is Hindi ; that republic is that national 
form of Government in which the sovereign power — whether 
it be exercised by a monarch or by a President matters not 
much — must rest ultimately and uncompromisingly in the 
hands of the Indian people.” This was the ideal for which the 
Abhinava Bharat stood. This was the ideal for which the 
Hindu Mahasabha stands. There is scarcely any other historic 
figure under the sun that has gone through such epic ordeals 
as Savarkar has done for fulfilling his vow. 

The idea of bifurcation conceived by the historic Muslim 
mind and started on its foot by Sir Syed Ahmed was 
enthusiastically supported by the Muslims, was accepted by 
the Congress leaders and ended in the vivisection of India. 
As Savarkar saw independence in sight, he grew restless about 
the unity and integrity of India, the concept and ideal of 
which to men like Savarkar was noble, sublime and divine. 
But during the period of Savarkar’s long incarceration and 
internment, the Gandhian lead betrayed a woeful lack of self- 
confidence in the conduct of the national struggle, ultimately 


discredited the power, prestige and patriotism of the Hindus, 
the national majority, undermined their confidence and 
mortgaged the destiny of the country to the anti-nat ional 
forces. Savarkar's insight perceived this danger and he fore- 
warned the people and applied all his energies to averting 
the colossal disaster which was ushered in by the Gandhian 
lead. But with herculean efforts he could not avert the vivi- 
section of the Motherland. The Hindu Mahasabha lacked 
full-time workers. The party had no ^ dailies ’ to back up 
their propaganda and leaders. There were few weeklies ixt 
District places, but they also suffered foi' want of active 
support. The culpable boycott of the so-called nationalist but 
in fact commercialized press and the Press Agencies on 
Savarkar’s statements and speeches was no less responsible 
for this fate. The news agencies that could give full and 
roaring publicity to Jinnah’s anti-national outbursts, state- 
ments and speeches, suppressed wickedly the views, speeches 
and statements of Savarkar and whenever they broadcast 
them, they dropped out most pertinent criticism of the 
Britishers and the Congress party and his constructive and 
valuable advice to his countrymen. And when these fabricated 
extracts came down to the commercialized papers, they did the 
rest to Savarkar’s statements and speeches. The ignorant and 
superstitious masses were not knowing what was happening. 
In fact, those capitalists and moneyed men who had contribut- 
ed heavily to the Congress press and propaganda for years, 
were not now prepared to lose all investment by incurring 
the displeasure of the ruling party in the country. In such 
a state of affairs, Savarkar’s warnings went unheard and he 
lost his battle for Akhand Hindusthan. That way his fate is 
no better than the fate of Burke and Demosthenes, the two 
great pathetic figures in the political history of the world. In 
his brilliant essay on Edmund Burke, John Churton Collins 
observed : “ Both (Burke and Demosthenes) animated by 

the purest motives, patriots to the innermost fibre, with no 
thought, with no aim, but for the public good, wore out their 
lives in leading forlorn hopes and in fighting losing battles. 
Both were prophets with a curse of Cassandra upon them, to 
be found wiser after the event, to be believed when all was 
lost.” Add the third name of Savarkar to the line of these 



great orators and read the lines again. Telling his readers that 
Demosthenes saw Athens at the feet of Macedonian despot, 
and Burke saw England dismembered of America, Mr. Collins 
goes on to say : “Of the superhuman efforts made by the 
great Athenian to retrieve the disasters in which the neglect 
of his warnings had involved his countrymen, there was not 
one which was not thwarted either by a cruel fortune or by 
the perfidy and levity of those whom he was striving in their 
own despite to save.” ^ Savarkar strove his utmost to avert 
the greatest betrayal in human history and the colossal 
disaster, but was thwarted by the perfidy, levity and betrayal 
of his contemporaries. Nevertheless, his failure was more 
glorious than the ignoble success of his political opponents. 

As for the Independence that came, it did not come as a 
result of the Congress struggle alone which was fought out 
by the Socialists in 1942. It is ludicrous to say that the battle 
was fought in 1942 and the victory came in 1947. The final 
victory was won when politics was carried into the Indian 
Army, when patriotism took fire in the ranks of the Indian 
armed forces, when militarized Indians thus inspired with a 
great ideal rose in revolt under the lead of Ras Behari Bose 
and Netaji Subhas Bose. The British Imperialists, consider- 
ably weakened by World War II, realized that it was 
impossible to keep India in bondage any more for they had no 
faithful army. The army, that was entrusted with the work, 
had turned their guns towards their heads. The Prime 
Minister of Britain, Mr. Attlee, stated before the House of 
Commons on March 15, 1946, on the occasion of making a 
declaration of the proposed transfer of power to India, that 
the national idea had spread right through, not the least 
perhaps among some of the soldiers who had done such 
wonderful service in the war. Mr. Fenner Brockway, the 
Political Secretary of the Independent Labour Party of 
England, gave three reasons for the transfer of power by 
Britain to India. He said that the Indian people were deter- 
mined to achieve Independence ; secondly, there was the 
revolt of the Royal Indian Navy and that the Indian forces 
could not be relied upon for serving Britain’s purposes, and 

I Twentieth Century Essays And Addresses^ edited by W. A. J. 
Archbold, p. 175. 


thirdly, Britain did not want to estrange India which was a 
great market and a source of foodstuffs for Britain. Though 
Brockway did not mention directly the I.N.A., it was dear 
that the revolt in the armed forces had bent them to the 
inevitable. Then who had truly worked towards that end, 
the carrying of the fire of patriotism into the ranks of the 
Indian army ever since 1908 ? And who made heroic 
attempts despite the curses of the Congressmen and 
journals to preach militarization and impress upon patriotic 
youths the importance of entering the Army, Navy and Air 
Forces ? It was Savarkar and Savarkar alone. At last the 
destined leader, Netaji Subhas Bose, seized the opportunity, 
and reaped the fruit of the pioneer efforts of Ras Behari Bose 
and the militarization policy of Savarkar. History will record 
this. Viewed in this light Savarkar has achieved his goal. 
The heroic war inaugurated by the heroes of 1857 for winning 
back the independence was fought out to a successful end by 
the sacrifice of thousands of revolutionaries of Ram Singh 
Kuka, Wasudeo Balwant, the Abhinava Bharat, the Anusilan 
Samiti, and other organizations in Bengal and the Ghadr ; the 
heroic sufferers and patriots in the Congress, the valiant 
fighters of the Party of Bhagat Singh and the pioneer services 
of the Liberals. 

And what about other principles for which Savarkar stood ? 
The national script of India is now the Devanagari, the Lingua 
Franca is now Hindi. Savarkar has been struggling hard 
since 1908 for investing Hindi and the Nagari script with 
national honour. That dream has been ultimately realized. 
He worked for it in the Andcimans, he struggled for spreading 
the movement all over the country from Ratnagiri and after 
his release in 1937 the movement gathered force and at last 
the Hindu Sanghatanist forces purged the Hindi Sahitya 
Sammelan of Gandhian influence and won a resounding victory. 
But the finishing stroke was given by Savarkar to the cult of 
Hindustani during the annual session of the Hindi Sahitya 
Sammelan held in Bombay in December 1947. Addressing the 
Session, Savarkar warned the leaders of the Sammelan against 
the threats of Gandhiji and Nehru and asked the delegates 
and the one hundred and fifty one members of the Consti- 
tuent Assembly who had signed their pledge to support 



Sanskritized Hindi and the Nagari Script to achieve their 
object in spite of those threats. He added that the interests 
of the nation must be their sole concern and above the threats, 
fasts and fads of Gandhiji and Nehru. 

The Indian Republic has also come into being on January 
26, 1950. The sovereignty is now in the hands of the people. 

But this is not the end of Savarkar’s mission. For making 
tliis free India an up-to-date and powei’ful nation, along with 
the defence problem, the labour problem must be attended to 
and solved satisfactorily. With the growing industrialization 
and the growing agricultural needs, the labour problem and 
the agrarian problem are coming to a head and they have 
begun to affect the destiny of political parties and leaders in 
India. As the labour problem affected Mazzini’s leadership 
in a way in his old age, Savarkar the leader of the Hindu 
Mahasabha is not less affected by it. 

For the solution of the labour problem, Savarkar has his 
own nationalistic approach. To him both Manu and Marx 
are not infalliable and omniscient. According to him the 
Marxian approach is one of the many remedies suggested for 
the removal of human ills as those of Darwin and Freud, who 
also diagnosed the ills of humanity in their own way. Being 
a rationalist, Savarkar is not a believer in the orthodox church 
of Marx. But a lover, promoter and upholder as he is of the 
machine age, he understands that social equality and social 
justice are the culmination of the machine age. In his scheme of 
things the labour problem was upto the day of Independence 
a limb of the nation that was to be set free. With the freedom 
and progress of the nation, he believed that the fate of 
labourers must improve. That is why he gave more 
importance to the Pakistan problem that also involved 
economically and politically the destiny of India and her 
problem of peace and safety. National freedom and national 
security are the prerequisites for practising any scheme 
concerning land, labour and industries. But then the modern 
youth, the laboxirers and workers did not amply understand 
why Savarkar’s party was not the least moved whenever there 
were unrest, agitation and strikes in the labour area. There 
was a fair chance for the party to practise the principle of 
national co-ordination of class interests and fight for the 


workers. In fact, the much advertised socialist in Nehru is 
doing the same thing. But because Savarkar had thrown all 
his might and main for averting the national disaster, he had 
no time to pay attention to the labour and agrarian problems. 

India is now coming over to the ideal of Savarkar. If India 
is to survive, she must accept Savarkarism. She must approach 
all social and political problems with Savarkar 's realistic, 
scientific, and nationalistic angles. She must mechanize her 
agriculture, must gradually liquidate all landlordism, nation- 
alize all key industries and industrialize on a broader scale. 
She must Hinduise all key-posts and militarize the Hindus. 
Not conflagration of class interests, but interests of the nation 
should be her motto. 

The ideal of Savarkar desires that India must follow her 
bent. India must represent the culture of the national 
majority, the Hindus. Not the prestige and greatness of one 
individual, but the prosperity and security of the common 
man must be her goal. It has been said of Bismark that he 
made Germany great, but the Germans too small. Savarkarism 
says that this should not be allowed to happen in India. Some 
say that India will be a China. That cannot happen to India, 
if she learns as early as possible that neither a family rule, 
nor a group rule, nor one parly rule leads to the prosperity 
and security of the nation, but the joint responsibility and real 
democracy lead to its prosperity and security. But India 
would be a Poland, if the present leadership hugs the wrong 
belief that Indian history began with its rise and cuts itself 
from the spirit, history and names of Vikramaditya, Shali- 
vahan, Shivaji, Guru Govind Singh, Dayananda, Vivekananda 
and Tilak. They are India’s representative guides, gurus, 
inspirers, and saviours, who teach India how to survive with 
honour and self-respect in this world. And after having made 
sure of security and survival, India can look forward to 
Buddha and Mahaveer. 

And if India is true to these saviours, India would realize 
Savarkar’s another prophecy made ten years ago. He said : 

“ If you wish, O Hindus, to prosper as a great and glorious 
Hindu Nation under the sun, and you will have a claim on it, 
that State must be established under the Hindu Flag. This 
dream would be realized during this or coming generation. If 

THE MAN 417 

it is not realized, I may be styled as a day-dreamer, but if it 
comes true, I would stand forth as its prophet. 

I am bequeathing this legacy to you.” 

If in the history of modern India there is any great leader 
who neither pursued fame nor followed fortune, nor individual 
greatness, discarding national interests, national integrity and 
national honour, that great leader is Veer Savarkar and as 
such he would carry influence with posterity. As he was 
not a party to the vivisection of India, which is a heritage of 
sorrow and disgrace to posterity and the fu^eatest betrayal 
ever known in human history, Savarkar would be a beacon- 
light of hope, guidance, inspiration and courage. 


AVihinava Bharat, 9, 24, 27, 29, 30, 

31, 33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 44, 48, 
49, 57, 58, 60, 78, 107, 109, 125, 
133, 134, 197, 201, 3.58, 411, 413. 

Acharya, M. P. T., 33. 

Khan, H.H., the, 41, 50, 254. 
Avarkar, 166, 167, 182, 185, 187, 
188, 396. 

Aiyar, Sir C. P. Ramasv/ami, 278, 

Aivor, V. V. S., 32, 40, 41, 44, 

21, 72. 178. 

Aklred, Gu/ A., G5, 67, 81, 83, 84, 
1VV;>. 235, 4.V0. 

Alfrc I \^V’atsoii, Sir, 259, 260. 
Ambedkar. Dr., 175, 177, 178, 204, 
214, 222, 211, 224, 254, 271, 288, 
21M, 306, 34J, 354, 401, 409. 

AniL-ry, L. S., 270. 

Andrews, C. F,, 144. 

Aney, Lolianayak, 198, 205, 269, 
234, 295, ,306, 307, 309. 

Arya Samaj, 130, 166, 167, 185, 209, 
212, 213, ‘289, 314, 315, 395. 

Asaf All, 29, 34, 42, 47, 340. 

Aire, Acliarya, 54, 62, 122, 126, 186. 
Attlee, 339, 343, 414. 

A^ad, Maulana, 279, 281, 333, 343, 
3,53, 395. 

Banerjee, Surendranath. 1, 15, 18, 

32, 42, 50, 51, 111, 112, 200, 209, 
293, 409. 

Banerjee, Upendranath, 144, 388. 
Bapat, Senapati, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 
39, 45, 141, 178, 211. 

Besant, Annie, 150, 231, 234. 
Bhopatkar, L. B., 211, 329, 336, 339, 
340, 344, 349, 352, 371, 372, 374, 
375, 376, 377, 378, 383, 388, 390. 
Blunt, W. S., 56, 57. 

Bose, Anand Mohan, 1. 

Bose, Khudiram, 38, 350. 

Bose, Ras Behari, 260, 261, 407, 409, 
413, 414. 

Bose, Saiat, 308. 

Bose, Subhas, 34, 61, 72, 101, 102, 
198, 251, 260, 283, 293, 333, 408, 
409, 413, 414. 

Brian d. Monsieur, 83, 84, 85. 
Buddha, Lord, 169, 190, 237, 417. 

Cama, Madame, 30, 35, 40, 57, 72, 73, 
81, 142, 201, 234, 318, 358. 

Chandavarkar, Sir V. N., 213, 278, 
281, 323. 

Chat ter jee, N. C. 300, 341. 

Chatterjee, Ramananda, 172, 278, 

Chattopadhyaya, Virendranath, 30, 
53, 133, 409. 

Chiang Kai Shek, 179, 274. 

China, 27, 35, 61, 287, 416. 

Cliirol, Sir Valentine, 9, 39, 41, 59, 

Christ, Jesus, 88. 200. 

Ciiri.stian, Minority, 234, 397. 

Chuvehili, Winston, 57 , 72, 244, 272, 
299, 301, 316, 394. 

Congress, I.N., 1, 15, 24, 101, 137, 
149, 159, 194, 217, 229, 242, 278, 
279, 280, 320. 

Coutchino, D. Y., 63. 

Cripps, Sir Stafford, 275, 276, 277, 
278, 282, 286, 288, 291, 300, 343, 

Curzon, liord, 49. 

Dadabhai Naoroji, 1, 30, 31, 37, 
203, 234, 293, 409. 

Daphtary, C. K. 376, 377, 378. 

Das, C. R., 151, 293, 376. 

Das, P. R., 376, 383, 386. 

Dayananda, 1, 2, 28, 107, 109, 203, 
224, 237, 409, 411, 416. 

Desai, Bhulabhai, 307, 319, 332, 336. 

Desai, Morarji, 190, 370, 371, 374, 
379 382 

De Valera, 2, 7, 72, 293, 294, 312, 

Dharap, K. N., 371. 

Dhingra, Madanlal, 30, 49-52, 54-58, 

France, 33, 81, 82, 83. 

Gandhiji, 21, 29, 45-47, 54, 132, 133, 
144, 145, 148, 151, 160, 164, 166, 
167, 176, 177, 194, 196-198, 200, 
202, 204, 209, 212, 219, 221, 253, 
257,. 263, 270, 284, 285, 293-97, SOS- 
OS, 311-14, 317-19, 322-27, 331, 
332, 345, 347, 353, 354, 358, 361, 
364-69, 371-73, 377-83, 387, 394, 
397, 398, 400-03, 410, 414, 415. 

Germany, 29, 34, 83, 84, 133, 245, 
246 272. 

Ghadr Party, 9, 61, 133, 134, 136, 



Ghosh, Arvind, 37, 209. 

Gokhale, G. K., 15, 18, 21, 38, 39, 
40, 41, 52, 105, 112, 113, 116, 150, 
175, 200, 234, 293, 355, 398, 409. 

Golwalkar, M. S., 387. 

Gorky, 400. 

Gulabchand Hirachand, 341. 

Gupta, Ghanashyam, 314. 

Hardayal, LaJa, 30, 33, 57, 112, 113, 
133, 224, 409. 

Kedgewar, Dr. K. B., 175. 

Henry Cotton, 31, 32. 

Hinduism, 129, 165, 177, 201, 225. 

Hitler, 119, 244, 272, 311, 394. 

Hotilal Varma, 36, 103, 111. 

Humanism, 235, 236. 

Human State, 139, 235, 236. 

Huq, Fazlul, 302, 399. 

I. N. A., 58, 61, 101, 260, 261, 333, 
339, 340, 342, 413. 

Iyengar, K. V. R., 145. 

Jagdish Prasad, Sir, 214, 269, 317. 

Jai Prakash Narayan, 305, 389. 

Jamsahib of Nawanagar, 219. 

Japan, 18, 61, 402. 

Jayakar, Dr., 151, 194, 205, 269, 307, 
308, 349, 395, 409, 410. 

Jean Jaures, 81. 

Jean Languet, 81. 

Jews, 234, 397. 

Jinnah, M. A., 206, 207, 251-53, 265, 
267, 268, 270, 271, 287, 292, 294- 
96, 301, 306, 308, 311, 320, 322-24, 
326, 327, 334, 340, 343-48, 381, 397, 
403, 412. 

Jogendra Singh, Sir, 218, 288, 328. 

Kaiser, the, 35. 

Kalelkar, Kaka, 19, 22, 54. 

Kelkar, N. C., 19, 20, 52, 85, 126, 
148, 149, 151, 153, 175, 178, 186, 
187, 194, 198, 213, 220, 310, 396, 

Ker, J. C., 132, 134-36. 

Ketkar, Dr., 178, 179, 185. 

Ketkar, G. V., 211, 221, 371, 375, 

Khanna, Meherchand, 292, 305. 

Khaparde, Babarao, 311. 

Khare, Dr., 190, 309, 328, 356, 388, 

Kher! B. G., 24, 335. 

Kunzru, Pandit, 269. 

Lahiri, Ashutosh, 144, 283, 293, 388. 

Lajpat Rai, Lala, 18, 37, 40, 41, 42, 
160. 194, 200, 203, 206, 224, 231, 

Landlordism, 249., Prof. Harold J.